July 28, 2014

If it’s not Sustainable, its Condition is Terminal.

¶   The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report. It is a distressingly dull digest of information from the NRC, posted most weekdays and Saturdays, most recently on July 28. Latest information is that out of 100 US reactors, 9 were at reduced output and 3 were not operating.

¶   By NRC reckoning, Vermont Yankee (VY) is running at 100% of capacity. When the NRC rates output at 100%, it means it is 124% of specification. The plant is at 105% of its intended lifespan and the spent fuel pool has 500% of its intended load.

¶   Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell, July 10 (Video).

¶   Energy Week Extra: Heat Pumps - July 10 (Video)

geoharvey is one of George Harvey’s Blogs.


July 28 Energy News

July 28, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Boom-or-Doom Riddle for Nuclear Industry” The nuclear industry paints a rosy picture of its future. Detractors of the industry say that industry projections are a pipe dream and that nuclear power will not expand at that pace, if at all, in the face of solar and wind power growth. [Truthdig]

Science and Technology:

¶   A new study finds that when climate models factor in the temporary warming and cooling impact of El Niño and La Niña, they accurately predict recent global warming. It agrees with other studies leading one climatologist to say, “Global temperatures look set to rise rapidly.” [Energy Collective]

¶   With an EPA-rated range of 265 miles per charge, the Tesla Model S is the longest-range electric car you can buy today. In an interview with AutoExpress, though, Elon Musk revealed that a 500-mile battery will be possible “soon” … but at an exceedingly high cost. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   Plans to replace up to 70% of the diesel-powered electricity generation on Australia’s Lord Howe Island with hybrid renewables generating capacity and storage have received financial backing from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. [CleanTechnica]

¶   GE Energy Financial Services, part of the GE conglomerate, has undertaken investments in three wind energy projects in India, the company said on Monday. These wind farms, being constructed by Atria Power, have a combined capacity of 126 MW. [NDTV]

¶   Soon, all of Germany’s coal-fired power plants will be dependent on imports, with the country expected to halt coal mining in 2018 when government subsidies end. US exports of power plant-grade coal to Germany have more than doubled since 2008. [Times Colonist]

¶   Solar Frontier has signed an agreement with the town of Hiraizumi to build a 13 MW CIS megasolar power plant. To be located on 30 hectares of land designated for commercial use, the utility-scale power plant has received support of local residents. [Energy Business Review]

¶   An Australian-made energy storage system is now on site in Western Sydney. Built for Transgrid by Magellan Power, the system has 400-kWh lithium polymer (LiMnNiCoO2) batteries and an advance bi-directional inverter. [Energy Matters]

US:

¶   Con Ed filed a proposal for a program it hopes can defer costs to build a $1 billion substation. Instead, $200 million would go to novel customer-side load management programs, and $300 million toward more traditional utility investments to reduce load from specific areas by 2018. [Energy Collective]

¶   Amazon Web Services and Greenpeace have become embroiled in another slanging match over the cloud provider’s green credentials, due its supposed lack of energy-efficient data centres to power its services. [V3.co.uk]

¶   The Army has awarded the final round of solar technology contracts that will support a $7 billion renewable and alternative energy power production for Department of Defense installations Multiple Award Task Order Contract. [AZoCleantech]

¶   Clarkson University, partnering with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, National Grid and others, is designing a grid that will provide renewable and conventional electricity to many entities in the village of Potsdam, New York. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

¶   Dominion North Carolina Power dedicated the company’s first renewable power grid at Kitty Hawk. The project will be used to reduce the amount of power the Kitty Hawk regional office pulls from the grid. It has four wind turbines for 13 kW and 6 kW of solar PVs. [The Outer Banks Voice]

¶   A Texas Empowerment report released by Choose Energy shows that about one in three Texans choose renewably sourced energy options. That’s 100% more than any other state, according to Levente McCrary, spokeswoman for Choose Energy. [Tyler Morning Telegraph]


July 27 Energy News

July 27, 2014

Economy and Finance:

¶   In the transition towards a post-carbon future, infrastructure built today for fossil fuels could easily become stranded assets which burden investors and taxpayers with sunk costs. The future looks bleak for coal, and we should not invest in it. [Resilience]

World:

¶   Kudos Energy, a new Australian start-up solar company, believes that the Australian market for rooftop solar leasing for the residential and commercial sectors could reach $100 billion in the next decade. Kudos is the brainchild of two leading private equity investors. [CleanTechnica]

¶   According to the Chilean specialized media ‘Electricidad,’ Abengoa, the world leader in the Concentrated Solar Power market, is planning to invest up to $10 billion in renewable energy infrastructures in Chile. [CSP World]

¶   Scottish businesses have invested almost £50 million in onsite power stations in recent years because of concerns over cost and security of supply. There are now 40 commercial-scale renewable energy projects including wind turbines, solar PVs and anaerobic digestion plants. [Scotsman]

¶   Secretaries of the ministries concerned will brief Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi once a month on key infrastructure projects. This decision was taken at a meeting after the secretary of the Planning Commission presented India’s infrastructure targets and achievements. [Business Standard]

¶   From an initial targeted development of 23 MW, Filipino firm Eastern Renewables has been moving its goal higher to accomplish an expansion of up to 100 MW for biomass projects. Eastern Renewables is the arm for renewable energy ventures for Eastern Petroleum Corporation. [Manila Bulletin]

¶   Over £45 million has been invested in commercial-scale renewable energy projects across the UK county of Hampshire. Farmers, businesses, communities and public sector organisations in the county have taken advantage of renewable energy projects, with 74 now operating. [Daily Echo]

US:

¶   The old US microgrid model, built for power security and based on fossil fuels, is evolving. Microgrid development is expected to grow 70 to 80% in the next three years, with many hew projects at private commercial operations and including solar PV, battery storage and biogas. [Energy Collective]

¶   With a new battery pack built in partnership with LG Chem, it seems like GM plans to usurp Tesla’s plans to deliver a long-range and affordably priced EV to the masses. The rumors of a 200-mile GM-branded EV have been around for a while, and now the car may appear soon. [CleanTechnica]

¶   In the past few years a tremendous technological transformation has occurred. The barriers for electric companies to entertain unprecedented growth potential by devouring a large piece of the oil companies’ share of the US energy market for transportation is now clearly in reach. [Energy Collective]

¶   Ohio green energy advocates want to ensure the state’s new two-year freeze on renewable energy mandates for utilities becomes just that — a timeout from requirements set forth under a 2008 law and not a backdoor strategy to repeal it after this fall’s gubernatorial election. [Toledo Blade]

¶   A new project would transform 25 acres of brownfield in Lackawanna, New York into a 4 MW solar farm with 13,000 solar panels. The project would be near a related wind project with its 14 wind turbines on the Hamburg and Lackawanna waterfront. [Buffalo News]

¶   Renewable-energy advocates are rallying against a proposed utility fee for Utah residents who have solar panels and wind turbines, saying it could hinder further development of renewable energy. [Washington Times]

¶   This week a committee at the National Academy of Sciences released a report entitled, “Lessons Learned From the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of US Nuclear Plants.” Those lessons are summarized as “Safety first, complacency never, shift to renewables.” [allvoices]


July 26 Energy News

July 26, 2014

World:

¶   Russia is a major exporter of crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. Sales of these fuels accounted for 68% of Russia’s total export revenues in 2013, based on data from Russia’s Federal Customs Service. [Energy Collective]

¶   A consortium of Australian energy groups look to create a “mini electricity” system relying on local renewable energy production and storage. The search has begun for a suitable town to become Australia’s first “zero net energy town,” using renewables, storage and a local mini-grid. [RenewEconomy]

¶   The signals coming from Australia’s Federal Government say it is preparing to cut the renewable energy target back. But Melbourne and Sydney have set ambitious targets to slash carbon emissions and are determined to make it happen, whatever direction Canberra takes. [ABC Online]

¶   A project to build 65 MW of solar power generation in Uruguay has successfully reached financial close. The Spanish, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, has signed for $70 million in funds from Norway’s DNB Group. Spanish bank, Santander is also financing $24 million. [PV-Tech]

¶   Construction is starting at the Westermeerwind nearshore wind farm in the Netherlands after the developer reached financial close on the project. It will feature 48 3-MW turbines between 500 metres and 1100 metres from the dikes of the Noordoostpolder. [reNews]

¶   Restarts of reactors at the Ikata nuclear power plant in Japan’s Ehime Prefecture will be delayed until at least next year because the site does not meet safety standards. The emergency headquarters building at the facility needs to be completely replaced. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶   Seneca Mountain Wind issued a statement saying it has ceased development its project in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. It has withdrawn a request to connect the project to the New England power grid and it has terminated all its leases it had to build the turbines. [Greenfield Daily Reporter]

¶   A lobbyist for Exelon Corporation recently bragged about killing the wind industry and claimed they would kill the solar industry next. Now the company favors extension of a net metering cap in Massachusetts, though in a watered-down form. It remains to be seen why. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Georgia Power will add 34 MW of solar PVs via three large projects following an approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission in December. In addition, they will add an additional 7.2 MW at smaller sites through a small- and medium-sized initiative program. [Macon Telegraph]

¶   Two months after an Angelina County judge decided to allow the Aspen Power’s trustee to recommence operations at the biomass facility, wood chip conveyor belts were up and running. Traffic in and out of the facility signaled a positive movement for the restart of the facility. [KTRE]

¶   Researchers at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Minnesota are working together on an initiative to lower energy consumption and introduce renewable energy generation to crop, dairy, and swine production systems. [Morris Sun Tribune]

¶   The Baltimore Interfaith Solar Co-op allows members to purchase home solar systems from an installer together, negotiating a group rate. Despite its title, the Baltimore co-op is open to all regardless of church membership or religious affiliation. [Baltimore Sun]

¶   California could meet its energy needs with renewables alone, according to Stanford University researchers. The authors of a recent study say a transition scenario is economically as well as technically feasible. [Deutsche Welle]

¶   Southern Co. CEO Tom Fanning has said he hopes to announce plans to expand the utility’s fleet of power reactors by the end of the year. The company is studying six existing plants and new sites for potential reactor construction. [Nuclear Street - Nuclear Power Portal]


July 25 Energy News

July 25, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   A new report has found that the number of incidents of wind turbines catching fire is a sizeable issue for the wind industry, and a problem that is not being accurately reported on, with an estimated ten times more fires occurring than are actually being reported. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   Global prospects for wind power are rising despite disappointing 2013 numbers, say analysts at Navigant Research. Wind power now supplies about 3% of the world’s electricity, but Navigant expects wind power to deliver 7.3% of global electricity by 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Bradford Council has become the first local authority in the UK to back plans for its schools to run on solar power, as it emerged that nationally just five schools have installed renewables that qualify for feed-in tariff incentives in the past year. [Business Green]

¶   Alice Springs can expect 4% of its electricity supply to come from solar by the end of 2015. Already Australia’s largest tracking solar farm, the 3.1 MW expansion of Uterne will bring its total capacity to 4.1 MW. [ABC Online]

¶   Plans for a series of new UK offshore wind farms have been thrown into doubt after the Government disclosed it would only award enough subsidies this autumn to fund one such project. Wind farm developers for other projects will be forced to wait to find out about funds. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶   Ventinveste, a consortium of some of Portugal’s top energy and engineering companies, and Ferrostaal GmbH, a worldwide project developer, will build four wind farms in the country, in a €220 million investment that will strengthen the country’s renewable energy cluster. [AltEnergyMag]

¶    Research sponsored by business groups and the mining industry shows Australia’s 20% renewable energy target (RET) will cost the economy $29 billion and 5000 jobs by 2020. This is in direct conflict with other recent reports finding consumers would be better off with the RET. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   European power sector stakeholders are fully aware that a substantial transition is taking place there. A poll taken during POWER-GEN Europe revealed that half of the delegates present expected that the European market for large power plants will never return. [Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine]

¶   According to a new report by analyst Frost & Sullivan published this week, global solar power market revenues are set to more than double to $137 billion by 2020, up from just under $60 billion in 2013. [Business Green]

¶   Kudankulam nuclear power project’s second 1,000 MW unit is expected to be commissioned shortly, the government said on Thursday. The power project, located in Tamil Nadu, has two units of 1,000 MW generation capacity each. [The Hindu]

US:

¶   The National Hockey League is the first A-list pro sports league to issue a Sustainability Report. In its report, the NHL took on climate change deniers and set a new high bar for all the other pro sports leagues in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The US Energy Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have awarded funding totalling $1.35 million to four distributed wind companies to help drive down the cost of small- and medium-sized wind energy systems. [reNews]

¶   More than three years after the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts made a bet on green energy, the first municipal solar sites on Martha’s Vineyard are now feeding power back into the grid. But getting to this point has been anything but easy. [Martha's Vineyard Gazette]

¶   New York State has awarded seven research teams $3.3 million to develop smart grid technologies to “enhance grid performance, reduce the risk of power outages, and lessen environmental impacts and energy consumption, all while reducing the cost of power delivery.” [SmartMeters]

¶   A new Stanford study finds that it is technically and economically feasible to convert California’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one powered by wind, water, and solar. The plan could create tens of thousands of jobs and save billions of dollars. [Phys.Org]

¶   Wind power makes up 15% of the energy supply that Xcel Energy provides to customers and can meet the energy needs of about 2.5 million homes. At one point in May 2013, wind accounted for more than 60% of the power on the Colorado system, setting the national record. [Intelligent Utility]


July 24 Energy News

July 24, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   As governments struggle to find practical routes forward with positive outcomes for CO2 mitigation, attention is turning to dealing with other greenhouse gases, particularly methane. A number of methane emission initiatives are now underway or being planned. [Energy Collective]

¶   Planning is underway to replace the aging US power network with a new, “smart” grid, one that’s energy efficient and flexible enough to handle variability in both supply and demand — one comprised of microgrids that can isolate electrical crises before they spread. [KQED QUEST]

¶   Google wants to see the size of inverters shrink – and will award a million dollars to the person or team that comes up with the best design. An inverter can take the DC current produced by the solar modules or wind turbines and converts it to AC. [Energy Matters]

World:

¶   UK renewable-power projects will compete for guaranteed payments totaling more than £200 million ($340 million) a year of as part of its first auction of contracts to spur low-carbon electricity. By 2021 as much as £1 billion a year may be available, it said. [Bloomberg]

¶   Increased focus on curbing the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants is fuelling the global solar power market. Coupled with favourable legislation and the need to enhance energy self-sufficiency and security, these factors will help the solar power market grow rapidly. [Greentech Media]

¶   South Australia’s Tindo Solar is being provided up to $20 million senior debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to locally manufacture, install and own rooftop solar arrays and sell the power to building occupants under a power purchase agreement. [Manufacturers' Monthly]

¶   All of Japan’s nuclear reactors remain shut down as the country heads into the hottest days of summer, when demand for energy is at its highest. Utilities are boosting production at thermal plants and the government is calling on locals and companies to save energy. [Nippon.com]

¶   The Government of Rwanda is preparing to commission in early August 2014 the first utility-scale solar PV power plant in East Africa with a production capacity of 8.5 MW. The project has commenced testing phase of up to 20% of its total capacity. [AltEnergyMag]

¶   First Solar has submitted an application to build a huge solar power plant in Chile. According to a press release from the Centre for Renewable Energy, the plant will be one of the biggest in the world and the largest in Latin America at 370 MW. [ValueWalk]

¶   The European Commission approved the U.K. government’s renewable energy contracts and so-called capacity payments, saying the program that benefits power plants complies with state-aid rules. [Businessweek]

¶   Up to 1.12 trillion becquerels of radioactive cesium are estimated to have been dispersed during work last summer to remove debris at reactor 3 at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, TEPCO said Wednesday. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶   According to data from the Solar Industries Association, more than 44% of solar capacity installed in the US during the first quarter was non-utility. Adding that amount to the utility solar power indicates that solar is leading the nation in terms of installations. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Though solar power is still far from surpassing coal as America’s primary energy source, the number of people employed by the solar industry has surpassed the number of coal miners. There are about 142,000 people in the US workforce working at least half time on solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶   On Wednesday, US Senator Chuck Schumer unveiled a proposal for a federal tax credit to reimburse farmers for 30% of the cost of anaerobic digesters. Such systems can be costly, but the electricity from the waste of 400 cows is enough to power 185 average households. [Albany Times Union]

¶   Last year, California created a mandate calling for 1,325 MW of energy storage projects by 2020. As of mid-2014, more than 2,000 MW of energy storage projects have already applied to interconnect with the state’s grid. [Energy Collective]


July 23 Energy News

July 23, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Will the micro-grid put major power companies out of business?” There is now a range of units such as cogeneration plants, which deliver heat and electricity, wind turbines and solar PVs, owned by a whole raft of municipalities, households and businesses. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶   A new material developed at MIT is able to convert 85% of incoming solar energy into steam — a significant improvement over recent approaches to solar-powered steam generation. Very little heat is lost in the process, and it can produce steam at relatively low solar intensity. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶   Germany and the United Kingdom have 18 of the 30 most polluting energy plants in the European Union, according to a study funded by the European Union. All of the EU’s most polluting plants are coal-fired. [EurActiv]

¶   Toyota will have at least three production fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle models on sale within ten years. That’s the official word from the company’s US National Manager Advanced Technology Vehicles, Craig Scott. [Motoring]

¶   Australia’s household solar revolution has caught the government-owned electricity sector by surprise. More than one million Australians have already installed solar panels on their rooftops, which has caused demand for electricity from the grid to plummet. [Huffington Post]

¶   Clean energy investment continued to grow in the second quarter. Investment was up 9% at $63.6 billion during the April-June period, with China the largest investor followed by the US, according to the latest quarterly update from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Business Spectator]

¶   Indian Railways is all set to give a push to its plans to generate renewable energy. The national transporter is planning to generate 20% of its total energy requirement from solar and wind energy over the next couple of years. [Financial Express]

¶   The UK government will retain its 2023-27 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, resisting reported pressure to water it down. Current estimates are that UK and EU levels of ambition on carbon-cutting “are likely to be extremely close”. [Recharge]

¶   Located in the Engadine Valley in Switzerland, Zernez has set the goal of using only renewable sources to meet its energy requirements for buildings in the municipality, thus reducing CO2 emissions to zero. [Nanowerk]

¶   Top officials at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, charged with the selection and construction of the nuclear waste facilities, were replaced last month because of lack of progress and in view of the planned restart of nuclear power plant operations. [The Japan News]

US:

¶   California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there. [Resilience]

¶   Consumers Energy is choosing four Michigan farms to produce renewable energy with anaerobic digesters. The farms could generate electricity under long-term contracts that total 2.6 MW, enough to power about 2,800 homes. [Your Renewable News]

¶   The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will hold a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for the 250-MW Beacon Solar Power Project. This new solar array is an important component of LADWP’s complete power supply transformation. [Sierra Wave]


July 22 Energy News

July 22, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Just how fast the California’s climate is changing became apparent Monday when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released figures showing the first six months of this year were the hottest the state has ever recorded. [Willits News]

¶   The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record in June. That’s after the world broke a record in May. NOAA’s climate monitoring chief said both the June and May records were driven by unusually hot oceans, especially the Pacific and Indian oceans. [Lexington Herald Leader]

World:

¶   Research from the Energy Economics and Management Group in the School of Economics shows that wind energy – particularly in South Australia and Victoria – has a big impact on wholesale prices, even at peak demand time when the wind is least powerful. [CleanTechnica]

¶   New South Wales aims to be “Australia’s answer to California”, accelerating the use of renewable energy and finding new ways to curb waste, in a push that puts it at odds with Coalition counterparts in other states and at the federal level. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   For the first six months of 2014, China’s power consumption has recorded an increase of 5.3%. For the same period, coal used in generation declined year-over-year by three grams per kWh to an average of 317 grams per kWh of electricity produced. [Market Realist]

¶   EDF en Canada has reached agreement with three aboriginal groups on the 350 MW Rivière-du-Moulin wind project in the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve in Quebec. The project is in a territory of interest for the Innu First Nations. [reNews]

¶   Iberdrola Ingeniería and Gamesa have entered into an agreement with Honduras-based Grupo Terra to build a turnkey project to cost $83.8 million. The new 50 MW wind farm will supply the electricity needs of 100,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶   The Australian Federal Parliament voted to scrap the country’s carbon price last week, causing concerns as to the future of PV in the country. However, the Australian Solar Council says that the move won’t halt the growth of solar. [pv magazine]

US:

¶   US agriculture could provide up to 155 million tonnes of crop residues and 60 million tonnes of manure for the generation of clean fuels and electricity in 2030, according to new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists. [BioEnergy News]

¶   According to the latest  Energy Infrastructure Update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, solar and wind energy constituted more than half of the new generating capacity in the country for the first half of 2014. [AlterNet]

¶   While the politics of fracking has taken hold of election-year energy discussions in Colorado, the wind power industry is quietly surging. On Friday Vesta Wind Systems announced it was hiring 800 new workers, after receiving orders for 370 turbines over the last few weeks. [ThinkProgress]

¶   Schneider Electric has partnered with Green Energy Corp to provide standardized microgrid solutions for energy clients. The partnership combines Schneider Electric’s experience in distributed energy resources with Green Energy Corp’s open source Linux tools. [SmartMeters]

¶   New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation advocating shutting down the Indian Point nuclear plant as an alternative to proposed engineering changes to the facility that have largely been rejected by Entergy, the plant’s operator. [Wall Street Journal]


July 21 Energy News

July 21, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Carbon price gone: Next target is wind and solar” The move by Australia to become the first country to repeal a carbon price is expected to accelerate a switch back to coal-fired generation from gas – already triggered by the soaring gas price. [RenewEconomy]

World:

¶   Siemens has installed the third and fourth of five offshore transmission platforms scheduled for the North Sea. The four grid connections will have a total transmission capacity of more than 2.9 GW, with enough wind power to supply around three million households. [Your Renewable News]

¶   Sainsbury’s has become the first ever retailer to power one of its own stores by its food waste. A store in Staffordshire sends all of its food waste to an anaerobic digestion plant to generate electricity. It’s the first time a UK retailer has come off the National Grid. [Fresh Business Thinking]

¶   Global investment bank HSBC says the repeal of the carbon price last week leaves Australia’s resource-intensive economy “even more vulnerable” as the world moves in opposite direction. The impact extends to commodities beyond those that are energy-based. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Suntech Power became a world power in solar energy only to default on $541 million in debt in February 2013. Commercially, the firm – now rebadged as Wuxi Suntech Power – is now rising from the ashes. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   Eastern Petroleum Corp. has secured a permit from the Philippine DOE for its initial phase of its biomass power project, its top official said last week. The first phase consists of a 23.5-MW power unit worth close to $100 million. The second phase is similarly sized. [Business Mirror]

¶   Yingli Solar has announced it will supply approximately 12,000 of its PV modules for use in a  rooftop mounted distributed generation project in eastern China. The panels, with a capacity of over 3 MW, will be installed on rooftops of four warehouses. [Energy Matters]

¶   Jean-Claude Juncker, who is to assume the presidency of the European Commission in November, has called for an ambitious target to improve energy savings, calling for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   India’s finance minister has decided to double the tax on every metric ton of coal mined or imported in the country. The revenues from the tax will be dedicated to increasing renewable energy capacity in the country. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   Residents of New Castle, Colorado may be able to zap some money off their electric bills if they approve a proposed new community solar park on a town-owned, five-acre parcel of property, according to town officials. [Glenwood Springs Post Independent]

¶   Thanks to Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky renewable energy program, the Jewish Community Center in Salt Lake City was able to install two solar arrays totaling over 22 kW. The project is part of a commitment to “repairing the world.” [Salt Lake Tribune]

¶   Innovative Solar Systems, LLC is seeing a trend in the United States where large utility scale solar farms are adding jobs, adding tax base to states and helping the U.S. economy. The company has started working only on solar farms with capacities in excess of 20 MW. [PR Web]


July 20 Energy News

July 20, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “The Politics of Renewable Energy” In 2011, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, comprised of leading scientists selected by the United Nations, found that there are few, if any, technological restrictions to powering the world through the use of clean energy. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

World:

¶   UK manufacturers are ­increasingly looking to generate their own power to sidestep fears of rising energy prices and threats to supply security, according to the Confederation of British Industry. New power options include wind, solar, and anaerobic digestors. [Express.co.uk]

¶   The UK government is expected to announce a cut in subsidies for small-scale hydro power schemes this week in a move that industry leaders said could kill off further investment in the sector and put Scottish jobs at risk. [Scotsman]

¶   In India, power demand is on an upswing due to lengthening summers, but declining monsoon rainfall has caused apprehension about hydropower output. With coal production dwindling, Coal India Limited has been asked to increase output. [SteelGuru]

¶   Another leak of radioactive water was found in the piping of water used to cool the spent fuel pool in the undamaged No. 5 reactor building of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a sign of possible deterioration in the system. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶   Over the next 20 years the role that coal plays in providing power to Texas will continue to diminish, perhaps just not as fast as experts had hoped.  Rising prices of natural gas have slowed coal’s reduction putting its numbers at about 23% of the Texas generating capacity. [Energy Collective]

¶   California has announced $26.5 million in grants for microgrid projects that put renewable integration front and center. Applicants should be able to incorporate low-carbon energy resources with energy storage and on-site energy management. [Energy Collective]

¶   No state has done more than California to fight global warming. But a deepening drought could make that battle more difficult and more expensive. The state’s hydroelectric dams are running low after three parched winters. [SFGate]

¶   At least five major transmission projects — some estimated to cost more than $1 billion to build — have been proposed to connect New England to plentiful hydropower sources to the north. The projects, however, are spurring opposition and debate. [Boston Globe]

¶   The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority has filed a petition for a feed-in tariff rate to comply with the Feed-in Tariff Act the VI Senate passed in May. It is just one of the steps that the territory is making to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and diversify energy production. [Virgin Islands Daily News]


July 19 Energy News

July 19, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “24% Renewable Energy Over 27 Years — Is That All?!?” EIA is the experts, but we wonder if they left a couple of things out of the equation when it comes to the competition between natural gas and renewables for a share of the new capacity market from 2015 on out. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶   There’s a class of fuels that don’t use an intervening biomass to make a fuel. For that reason, they are not really properly called biofuels. Those working with them prefer “solar fuels,” because they use sunlight to capture carbon dioxide and make it into a fuel. [Biobased Digest]

World:

¶   Green bonds have been experiencing quite a boom lately — having seen a huge surge in 2013, they are up to almost $14 billion. Now green bonds look to set to climb to perhaps as high as $40 billion this year, up from under $14 billion in 2013. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will spend 15 billion rupees (US$ 250 million) to increase solar power across the country and also to improve power delivery. Nearly 40% of India’s 1.2 billion people have no access to reliable electricity. [IEEE Spectrum]

¶   WindStream Technologies has installed what it says is the world’s largest wind-solar hybrid array on an office roof in Kingston, Jamaica. The array is expected to generate over 106,000 kWh annually. [Gizmag]

¶   Wind farms in the Australian state of Victoria may face termination due to the highly inflexible and restrictive nature of new anti-wind laws and permit rules. Companies granted permits before the new laws were passed cannot make simple upgrades to their turbines. [Green Left Weekly]

¶   Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea continues to experience difficulties in operating its 5 MW reactor, which was restarted in summer 2013. A new sand dam to ensure adequate water supply for the secondary cooling system failed in two places. [38 North]

US:

¶   President Obama announced a series of climate change initiatives on Wednesday at the White House aimed at helping cities and towns affected by storm surges, flooding, drought and erosion. [Latin Post]

¶   Waste Management is doubling capacity at its landfill gas power plant south of Arlington, Oregon, generating more energy for homes and businesses 260 miles away in Seattle. With the expansion, capacity will increase from 6.4 MW to 12.8 MW, or enough for 12,500 homes. [The Tribune]

¶   The Boothbay, Maine Planning Board gave a New York City firm conditional approval to build an energy storage facility. The board voted 5-0 approving Convergent Energy + Power’s application  to construct a valve-regulated lead acid battery storage facility. [Boothbay Register]

¶   The City of Rifle, Colorado produced enough power through its seven solar arrays to reach a net zero status for its electricity needs, including the City Hall, the police station, parks maintenance facility, public works, wastewater treatment, and other city buildings. [Glenwood Springs Post Independent]

¶   Gov. Mark Dayton wants Minnesota to eliminate coal as a source of energy production in the state. He wants the conversion of coal plants to natural gas to continue, along with boosting investment in renewable energy sources. [Rick Kupchella's BringMeTheNews]


July 18 Energy News

July 18, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Decarbonizing the world energy system without nuclear” In 2013, where nuclear power supplied 11% of the world’s electricity, renewables about twice as much. And in 2013 renewables had a 72% share of new electricity generating capacity. [The Ecologist]

World:

¶   Onshore wind energy is the cheapest available form of new power generation in Denmark. Its cost, 5.4¢ (US) per kWh is about half that of offshore wind, new centralised coal, new centralized natural gas, and decentralised combined heat and power. [reNews]

¶   The UK government approved plans for a wind farm off the coast of Sussex. E.ON’s Rampion offshore wind farm, which would generate enough electricity to power approximately 450,000 homes, is expected to bring more than £2 billion of investment to the UK’s economy. [Insider Media]

¶   The price for thermal coal has plunged more than 10% in the last two months as the presumed major customers for Australian fossil fuels – China and India – make it clear that renewable energy is offering a competitive alternative to coal and gas. [RenewEconomy]

¶   The Asian Development Bank says there has been a spike in the need for investment in renewable energy in the Pacific as the cost of diesel becomes unaffordable and a structural shift to hydro, wind and solar power makes both economic and environmental sense. [Radio New Zealand]

¶   Among the latest insurance news for Europe’s renewable energy industry are plans being developed by insurers to provide protection to investors backing solar and wind power projects against the removal of vital federal subsidies. [Live Insurance News]

¶   Almost £8 billion was invested in renewable energy in the UK last year, according to a report by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The report showed renewables now produce 15% of the country’s electricity. [The Guardian]

¶   Turkey’s electricity consumption scored an all time record last week, highlighting the country’s thirst for new power capacity. Yet renewable power development plods slowly onwards. [pv magazine]

¶   Germany comes in first in a new energy efficiency ranking of the world’s major economies, followed by Italy, the European Union as a whole, China, and France, according to the 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The US ranks 13th out of 16 countries ranked. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶   According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research, global smart grid market was valued at $37.7 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $118.1 billion in 2019, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 18.2% from 2013 to 2019. [PR Newswire UK]

US:

¶   The US Department of Interior will offer leases to companies that want to build wind turbines off parts of the coast of New Jersey, along blocks of ocean floor starting about seven miles off Long Beach Island, Atlantic City and Cape May County. [Cherry Hill Courier Post]

¶   The city of Boulder, Colorado has filed to condemn portions of the electric system owned by Xcel Energy through eminent domain. Boulder deems parts of the Xcel’s system as necessary to create a local electric utility that would serve customers within city limits. [Boulder County Business Report]

¶   If renewable energy sources produced a higher percentage of energy in West Virginia, new jobs would be created, and health conditions, particularly in poor and black neighborhoods, would improve, according to a new report from the state chapter of the NAACP. [Charleston Gazette]


July 17 Energy News

July 17, 2014

Australian Carbon Tax Repeal:

¶   The Australian Senate voted on Thursday to scrap the country’s carbon tax and plans for emissions trading, a major victory for conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott that leaves uncertainty about how the country will meet its carbon reduction goals. [Gulf Times]

¶   Opinion: “‘A Perfect Storm of Stupidity’: Scientists React To News The Carbon Tax Is Gone” The Abbott Government delivered on its election promise to repeal the carbon tax today, 10 months after taking office. [Business Insider Australia]

¶   Opinion: “Carbon repeal: condemning our children for cheap political points” Australia has returned to its old role opposing serious action on climate change, having replaced functional, effective and low-impact carbon pricing with a witless policy of handouts to corporate mates. [Crikey]

¶   John Rice, vice-chairman of US multinational GE, one of Australia’s largest foreign investors, says its $3.5 billion pipeline of investment in green energy in this country is at risk because of possible changes to the renewable energy target. [The Australian]

¶   The Tasmanian state government has hailed the repeal of the carbon tax as a win for consumers, and the repeal was immediately greeted with optimism by Acting Premier Jeremy Rockliff. But the Opposition says it will leave a huge black hole in the state’s budget. [Yahoo!7 News]

¶   Australia cut carbon dioxide emissions from its electricity sector by as much as 17 million tonnes because of the carbon price and would have curbed more had industry expected the price to be permanent, according to an Australian National University study. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   Global clean energy investment surged to $63.6 billion in the second quarter of 2014, up 33% compared to the first quarter and 9% compared to Q2 2013. But in Australia, utility-scale renewable energy project investment has largely dried up over policy uncertainty. [The Australian]

World:

¶   Europe will invest around $1 trillion into growing its renewable energy capacity by the year 2030, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Of this, $339 billion is expected to be into rooftop solar PV, and $250 billion into onshore wind energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Rural communities in Rwanda’s Eastern Province are quickly embracing use of biogas as a way of cutting the cost of fuel for cooking and lighting. The province, with the biggest cattle population in the country, has seen a number of households install biogas digesters. [AllAfrica.com]

¶   The government of Nepal has provided a ‘net metering’ system to allow a ratepayer to bank energy generated from the installation of rooftop solar PV system for later use or share for credits from Nepal Electricity Authority. [E Kantipur]

¶   EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, and Enbridge Inc. dedicated the 300 MW Blackspring Ridge Wind Project today. Located in Vulcan County, Alberta, the project is the largest investment in wind energy in Western Canada. [AltEnergyMag]

¶   A new report from the European Wind Energy Association has revealed a total of 4.9 GW of new offshore wind power currently under construction in Europe consisting of 16 new commercial wind farms. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶   Following two record-setting months in May and June of this year, total American EV sales have surged past 222,000 units since late 2010, and while the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt remain the dominant players, there are many more options now. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Minnesota Power has settled with the EPA over emissions at coal-fired power plants. In addition to a $1.4 million civil penalty, the company will invest in renewable energy, including a 1-MW solar installation. The agreement includes 200 MW of wind energy. [Northland's NewsCenter]

¶   The U.S. will build 351,000 MW of new electric generation capacity by 2040, according to an  Energy Department forecast. The agency projects new capacity over the next three decades will be 73% natural gas, 24% renewable and 3% nuclear. [FuelFix]


July 16 Energy News

July 16, 2014

World:

¶   A national fleet of six tidal lagoon power plants could contribute £3.1 billion a year to the UK’s gross domestic product, according to a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research examining Tidal Lagoon Power’s plans to build six projects. [reNews]

¶   Scatec Solar has completed a 40 MW solar plant in South Africa. Annual production will be around 94 million kWh, enough to cover the electricity demand of about 20 000 South African households. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶   Japanese authorities have declared that two nuclear reactors at Sendai meet new standards put in place after the 2011 Fukushima disaster and are safe enough to be restarted, paving the way for the revival of the country’s atomic energy industry. [Washington Post]

¶   Spanish manufacturer Gamesa has signed deals to supply 100 MW in Mexico and 190 MW in the United States. The US contract was agreed with EDP Renováveis and covers 95 G114 2 MW turbines at the Waverly wind farm in Coffey County, Kansas. [reNews]

¶   Shinsei Bank Ltd, a lender for Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s clean-energy projects in Japan, plans to provide as much as $2 billion in loans for renewable developments. Shinsei is among lenders increasing financing for clean-energy projects in Japan. [eco-business.com]

¶   2040-50 may finally be the decade when the installed renewable energy capacity in India would overtake the coal-based installed capacity, if the Integrated Plan for Desert Power Development is fully realized. The plan is called ambitious. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Australia’s investment in large-scale renewable energy all but dried up in the first half of 2014 amid uncertainty fueled by the government’s latest review of the mandatory target, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   Project developers have been invited to apply for qualification to the Ontario Power Authority’s next Large Renewable Procurement round, which will see as much as 440 MW of wind and solar capacity allocated. [Recharge]

¶   Nigeria’s Minister of Power says plans are in place for solar technology solution to replace the generators run with diesel as primary source of energy for the rural electrification projects across the country. [WorldStage]

¶   UK-wide greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 12% between 2007 and 2012, according to a study by the Committee on Climate Change. The report says the first carbon budget was met “through a combination of the impact of the recession and low-carbon policies.” [reNews]

US:

¶   In Massachusetts, new legislation would accomplish the stated objectives of the Patrick Administration, including a deployment target of 1,600 MW of solar PV (four times current levels) by 2020, while addressing core concerns of the utilities. [Energy Collective]

¶   Microsoft has signed its biggest renewable energy agreement, committing to buy the output of a 175 MW wind farm in Illinois. The 20 year deal commits Microsoft to buying the output of the 175 MW Pilot Hill wind project. [TechWeekEurope UK]

¶   Northern Power Systems, a next-generation renewable energy technology company based in Vermont, has launched a new 60 kW permanent magnet/direct drive wind turbine. The unit was specifically engineered for the Italian and other low wind regime markets. [Stockhouse]

¶   Rather than simply working against the (likely inevitable) spread of distributed generation, Vermont’s Green Mountain Power has been transforming itself into a company with a business model that puts renewable energy and distributed generation at its core. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Just when Cape Wind officials thought it was safe to go back in the water, the GOP-controlled House approved an energy and water appropriations bill that included a measure to bar a $150 million federal loan guarantee for the Nantucket Sound offshore wind farm. [RenewablesBiz]


July 15 Energy News

July 15, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Orwellian Newspeak and the oil industry’s fake abundance story” The oil industry’s fake abundance story is so full of verbal legerdemain that it has become a sort of lexicon of Newspeak for oil. [Resilience]

¶   “Electric Cars Will Change the Way You Power Your Home” When you put a solar panel on your roof, your home becomes a mini-power plant. When you buy an electric vehicle, you suddenly control an automobile-shaped energy-storage device. [TIME]

¶   “Wisconsin reactor’s demise hits local economy” The legacy of the 2013 shutdown of the Kewaunee Power Station, which generated nuclear energy for 39 years along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, is lost jobs, hard-hit economy, and nuclear waste. [Finance and Commerce]

World:

¶   Global clean energy investment surged to $63.6 billion in the second quarter of 2014, up 33% compared to the first quarter and 9% compared to Q2 2013, according to the latest authoritative figures from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Commodities Now]

¶   General Electric will supply some 94 MW of wind turbines to the Dunmaglass Wind Farm in Scotland. This capacity will come from 33 wind turbines that will be delivered to SSE Renewables in the coming months. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶   Like many other small island nations, Barbados has to ship in all of the oil that it uses to produce electricity—making power over four times more costly than it is in the fuel-rich US. That high price has proven to be a boon for Barbados’ fledgling solar industry. [New America Media]

¶   The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has awarded funding of $17.3 million (US) to a hybrid energy project in South Australia. The system will integrate 2 MW of PV and 3 MW of wind with the town’s pre-existing diesel power station of 3.9 MW. [PV-Tech]

¶   The UK is in danger of missing its post-2020 climate change goals unless it strengthens low carbon policy, according to the Committee on Climate Change. Instead of reducing carbon emissions by 31% from 2013 to 2025, the UK will achieve reductions of 21 to 23%. [Business Green]

¶   The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has commissioned what it claims is the Germany’s largest solar power storage park. The 1-MW facility is being developed by the KIT together with its Solarwatt and Kostal Solar Electric partners. [Daily Fusion]

US:

¶   California-based Siva Power has an ambitious cost roadmap for its thin-film solar modules. Siva says its first 300-MW production line will manufacture modules at 40¢ per watt, but believes it can get all-in costs down to 28¢ per watt after another two years of operation. [Energy Collective]

¶   Minnesota Power has taken delivery of equipment for Bison 4, a 205–MW addition to a wind farm. Once operational, Bison 4 will push Minnesota Power past the 25% renewable energy goal established by state legislators, 11 years ahead of the 2025 deadline. [Northland's NewsCenter]

¶   Armed with the knowledge that his New England counterparts saw their energy costs explode last winter, Quebec Premier Couillard made it clear at a conference of New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers that the province has plenty of power for sale. [The Telegram]


July 14 Energy News

July 14, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Is Solar Ownership Poised For A Comeback?” Most car buyers believe ownership tends to be a better deal than leasing. That’s why only 25% percent of new cars were leased in 2013. The same is true for solar: ownership has more risks, but can also have more financial rewards. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   UK-based AFC Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korean hydrogen supplier Chang Shin Chemical for fuel cell systems totalling up to 5 MW. Hydrogen from Chang Shin’s chemical works to generate clean energy with zero carbon emissions. [reNews]

¶   Indian company Welspun Energy is kicking off construction of the 50 MW Baramati solar project in Maharashtra. The facility will be installed in two phases with an initial 36 MW being installed on 75 hectares of government land. [reNews]

¶   Political parties in the South West of England that oppose onshore wind development are likely to lose twice as many votes as they gain, according to research commissioned by RenewableUK. [Western Daily Press]

¶   In Denmark, wind-farm developers are obliged to auction a minimum of 20% of the shares in a wind turbine over 25 metres high to neighbours living within 4.5 km of the mast. In addition, funds are put aside for local improvements and compensations. [Irish Independent]

¶   AU Optronics has announced its PowerLegato commercial and home energy storage system is now available to Australian customers. There are 7.2, 4.8 and 2.4 kWh models, all with over current, over temperature, over voltage and undervoltage protection. [Energy Matters]

¶   Despite ‘best efforts’ by the Punjab government, it is not getting the coal supply from the Centre to run its newly-commissioned thermal plants, which would easily give the state more than 2,000 MW. Punjab is in a desperate need of coal to power irrigation for crops. [Hindustan Times]

US:

¶   Apple has permission to establish its third solar farm in North Carolina. Apple plans to spend $55 million, to create the 17.5 MW new solar farm. It estimates that the construction will be completed 5 years after purchase of the land. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The EPA has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit comments from the general public and affected stakeholders about 40 CFR 190, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations. [Energy Collective]

¶   On Saturday and Sunday in Oklahoma, there were seven earthquakes. As of last month, Oklahoma had surpassed California in the number of earthquakes. It’s possible that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could have played a role in causing them. [CNN]


July 13 Energy News

July 13, 2014

World:

¶   A geothermal project valued at $958 million was approved by the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly last week. Over $600 million of the total will potentially be funded by two sources: the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and European Investment Bank. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Singapore-based wind and solar energy developer The Blue Circle and Bangkok-based renewable energy group Annex Power will form a partnership to tap into Thailand’s wind energy investments with investments of approximately $200 million. [AsiaOne]

¶   Ricky Muir, the lone senator of Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, has revealed a broad belief in the environment, renewable energy and organic food. The government has been surprised along with almost all others. Muir’s votes in the senate may turn out to be pivotal. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   Work has begun on the first solar farm in Central Bedfordshire. The  five-MW farm is expected to supply enough power for 1500 homes. It will potentially contribute £17,500 for the two parish councils, some of which could help fund domestic solar panel installations. [Luton Today]

¶   Indian environmentalists say the new government’s budget shows no real commitment towards the environment and does not allocate enough funds towards promoting renewable energy or public transport and appears to favour corporates over people. [Hindustan Times]

¶   According to Ernst & Young’s Power Transactions and Trends report, the increasing role of the private sector in both power generation and water could boost large-scale transactions in Middle East – North Africa in the future. Renewables may be a fertile growth area. [CPI Financial]

¶   Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has awarded £2.2 million to a major industry program to reduce the costs of offshore wind power. The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator brings major developers together to work on new technology concepts. [Business Green]

¶   NTR is lining up a €400m investment in wind energy on the island of Ireland as it seeks to diversify its US-focused power business. The company has just announced its first annual profit since the financial crash in 2008. [Irish Independent]

¶   German utility E.ON sees no need for any writedowns as a result of current low power prices, its finance chief was quoted as saying. Solar and wind power have edged out gas-fired power stations, causing an impairment wave in Europe. [Reuters]

¶   An anti-nuclear citizens’ network has translated a Japanese court’s ruling blocking restarts of two reactors at Ohi into English, Korean and Chinese. They want to spread the “universal values” of the judgment. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶   Seismologists said an earthquake that struck near Japan’s shuttered Fukushima nuclear site early Saturday was an aftershock of the tremor that sparked 2011′s deadly tsunami. They warn of more to come. [英文中國郵報] (This is the source as given - it is The China Post.)

US:

¶   After a period of explosive growth, the renewable power industry that Arizona helped pioneer is slowing there as utility regulators grapple with how much of a premium energy customers should pay to implement solar and other renewables. [Arizona Republic]

¶   SC Johnson, maker of Windex, Pledge, and Ziploc, among other things, says its largest manufacturing plant worldwide generally requires no outside electrical energy to operate. Most of its power comes from landfill methane, and the rest is from the wind and sun. [Journal Times]


July 12 Energy News

July 12, 2014

World:

¶   A new report from analysts Clean Energy Pipeline has shown that global clean energy investment totaled $66.2 billion in the second quarter of 2014, the highest total since the end of 2012. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Hopes are high that West Harris will be central to Scottish wave energy production. The European Marine Energy Centre has been awarded rights to the seabed and will work alongside the West Harris Trust and the Comhairle to attract wave energy developers. [Stornoway Gazette]

¶   Medicine Hat’s (and Canada’s only) solar-thermal project is completed and only awaits regulatory approval from the Alberta Boiler Safety Association, while the three wind turbines are up and should be running by the end of summer. [Medicine Hat News]

¶   There may now be 6.5 million direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy, according to new data from the International Renewable Energy Agency. Global PV employment is estimated to be 2.3 million in 2013, with 1.45 million in biofuels and 834,000 in windpower. [Emirates 24/7]

¶   Regulators have given the go-ahead for the biggest investment in Scotland’s green energy sector in decades. The £1.2 billion submarine transmission cable in the Moray Firth is expected to pave the way for future wave and tidal energy generation in remote locations. [Scotsman]

¶   German hard coal consumption for power generation was down by 11% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2014 as the use of coal in electricity production gave way to higher renewable power production, coal importers lobby VDKI said on Friday. [Reuters]

US:

¶   Sixteen Transition groups in 12 states are currently laying the groundwork in their communities to pilot Transition Streets, a project proven to reduce the carbon footprint of entire neighborhoods and save hundreds of dollars on energy bills. [Resilience]

¶   The city of Loveland, Colorado lost a dam and hydroelectric plant in last year’s flood, but there may be an opportunity to replace the renewable energy source with one 100 years more modern. City officials are in the initial planning stages for a 5 MW solar array. [ReporterHerald.com]

¶   The Senate passed legislation to encourage more geothermal energy production on federal lands, streamlining the federal geothermal leasing program to encourage development of geothermal power by making adjacent development rights available at fair market rates. [myCentralOregon.com]

¶   Solar energy companies can legally sell power directly to customers, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday. The ruling will likely expedite the adoption of rooftop solar power generating systems – particularly by cities, schools and nonprofit groups. [Washington Times]

¶   Facing strong opposition from students, faculty and nearby residents who opposed a fossil fuel plant did due to its carbon footprint, the University of Delaware has scrapped plans for a 279 MW natural gas burning co-generation power plant. [Natural Gas Intelligence]

¶   Despite ample opportunities to replace the power from the closed San Onofre nuclear plant with renewables, energy efficiency, demand response and other pollution-free energy options, SDG&E is planning on buying 600 MW of power produced with natural gas. [Greentech Media]

¶   A dozen leading companies, including Wal-Mart and General Motors, called for market changes to make it easier to buy renewable energy. They say they want to purchase 8.4 million MWh per year of this energy, but the market often stymies their efforts. [USA TODAY]

¶   Exelon, which owns the Ginna nuclear plant, wants Rochester Gas and Electric to sign a contract promising payments keep the plant running. Exelon has filed a petition asking the New York Public Service Commission to enter into a multiyear contract by the end of 2014. [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle]


July 11 Energy News

July 11, 2014

World:

¶   The United States and China on Tuesday signed eight partnership pacts to cut greenhouse gases that will bring the world’s two biggest carbon emitters closer together on climate policy, but fundamental differences between the two sides remain. [Scientific American]

¶   Global oil production advanced in 2013 by 557,000 barrels per day (bpd), an increase of 0.6 percent over 2012 and a new all-time high of 86.8 million bpd. After declining in 2009, global crude oil production has now increased 4 years in a row. [EnergyTrends Insider]

¶   Germany’s upper house of parliament Friday passed an ambitious renewable energy law which aims to mitigate the effects of the country’s move away from nuclear and fossil-fuel generated power. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   Swiss-based ABB has secured a contract worth about $400 million for the first electricity link between the island of Newfoundland and the North American power grid. The 500 MW connection will bring renewable energy from in Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia. [Energy Business Review]

¶   Globeleq, a private power generation company in Africa, has celebrated completion of another of its renewable energy projects in South Africa, the 138 MW Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm located between the towns of Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape. [Your Renewable News]

¶   Funds to help farmers adapt to climate change, ultra-modern solar power plants and schemes to promote women’s safety in cities are among pledges the new Indian government made in its first budget on Thursday. [Reuters India]

¶   Solar PV and wind energy will beat both coal and gas on costs – without subsidies – in the major Asia energy markets of China and India by 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶   The White House threatened to veto a proposed $34 billion House bill setting FY 2015 spending for the DOE, the Department of Interior, and the Army Corps of Engineers, saying it “significantly underfunds” investments to develop clean energy technologies. [POWER magazine]

¶   In Massachusetts, advocates of small-scale solar projects worry that a compromise worked out between large renewable energy developers and utilities — which nationally are pushing back against net metering rules — could darken the state’s successful solar development. [The Recorder]

¶   The Wisconsin Public Service Commission agreed to set up a $16 million revolving loan fund that would work with a commercial lender to help finance installation of solar, wind or bioenergy projects. The program is modeled in part on an initiative already in place in Iowa. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

¶   Dominion Virginia Power has started making test borings in the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia Beach as part of its proposed research project aimed at the eventual harvesting of offshore wind energy. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

¶   The National Wildlife Federation, pushing for development of offshore windpower, released a report called “Catching the Wind:  State Actions Needed to Seize the Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power.” [WMTW Portland]

¶    Even as the TVA builds a newer and bigger nuclear plant, distributed energy is producing more of America’s electricity, using smaller sources such as solar, wind or small gas-generated turbines. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]


July 10 Energy News

July 10, 2014

World:

¶   Wind and solar accounted for approximately 27% of Germany’s electricity generation in the first half of 2014. With 4% more coming from hydro, renewable energy sources accounted for a larger portion of electricity production than brown coal for the first time. [Business Spectator]

¶   China recently overhauled its basic environmental law in a way that brings it closer to the structure of the US Clean Air Act.  Among other things, the new law also contains a provision authorizing public interest litigation by certain Chinese NGOs. [Energy Collective]

¶   The Tokyo Electric Power Company nuclear power complex at Fukushima 1 has suffered a new and dangerous leak. The flaw is in the fifth reactor unit, not in one of the four originally wrecked in March 2011 in what might still become the world’s worst nuclear accident. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Saudi Aramco has come up with cost-effective ways to get at its tight gas and is now targeting a competitive price of $2.00 to $3.00 per thousand cubic feet. This is seen as a big blow to the US fracking industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The Abbott government’s bid to repeal Australia’s carbon tax has again been defeated in the Senate. It is still widely expected that the Senate will pass it, depending on how negotiations progress, but negotiations are not Abbott’s strong point. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Australians can look forward to more affordable energy bills if they keep developing renewable energy options, according to Giles Parkinson, editor of Renew Economy. He says South Australia and Tasmania may achieve virtually 100% renewables in about 15 years. [ABC Online]

¶   The Deep Decarbonization Pathways report, released by the UN secretary general, says the 15 countries that account for 70% of greenhouse gases, including the US, Britain, and China could cut emissions to nearly nothing by 2050, while also tripling economic output. [The Guardian]

¶   The European Commission said Wednesday it had secured a deal with Germany to allow the country to forge ahead with its ambitious renewable-energy laws, having agreed to some key changes to the legislation. [Wall Street Journal]

US:

¶   Collier County, Florida has taken the state to court charging that state regulators have been lax in their oversight a drilling process called “acid fracking,” jeopardizing public health and the environment of the Everglades region. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Apple on Wednesday published an Environmental Responsibility Report covering fiscal 2014, outlining steps the company has taken to reduce impact on climate change, use green materials in its products and conserve resources. [Apple Insider]

¶   Three Washington utilities have been awarded $14.3 million in matching grants from the state’s Clean Energy Fund to lead energy storage projects with ties to federally funded research at the US DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. [Renew Grid]

¶   Chicago is offering rooftop solar panel installations through the summer at 25% below market rates through a partnership with non-profit Vote Solar. The idea, announced Wednesday, is to jumpstart solar installations in the city. [Chicago Tribune]


July 9 Energy News

July 9, 2014

Opinion:

¶   The US Northeast has a combination of high electricity prices, large cities with high power demand, an older fleet of fossil fuel generation, and difficulty building new transmission lines. This has led policymakers to develop pro-renewable energy policies, and they’ve worked well. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶   Pathways to Deep Decarbonization, a report prepared by researchers in 15 different countries, looks into what’s needed to achieve sufficient cuts in our carbon emissions. The report finds that current government pledges aren’t sufficient. [Ars Technica]

World:

¶   For the first time, a large fraction of the world’s fossil fuels could be replaced at a lower cost by clean energy, with today’s renewable technologies and prices. And virtually no further investments in fossil fuels make long-term economic sense. [Huffington Post]

¶   A project of Irish utility ESB to develop Ireland’s first wave energy scheme has been awarded €23 million by the European Commission under the EU New Entrant Reserve (NER 300) funding mechanism. The 5-MW scheme should be operational by 2018. [Businessandleadership.com]

¶   The European Commission has awarded €1 billion funding to 19 projects to fight climate change under the second call of the so-called NER 300 funding program. Project funding is from revenues from the EU Emissions Trading System, so polluters are paying for it. [Financial Mirror]

¶   A new partnership between British Gas’s solar division, Generation Community and Social Finance has been formed to build a pipeline of solar PV projects worth £60 million across local government sites in the UK to equip sites such as schools and town halls with solar arrays. [Solar Power Portal]

¶   Alinta Energy, Australia’s largest energy infrastructure company, has reached another milestone with its feasibility study into solar thermal generation. It now has recommended an assessment of stand-alone power tower technology at Port Augusta. [Nassau News Live]

¶   GE announced today that SSE Renewables, the UK’s largest renewable power producer, has picked GE to fill its newest wind farm with turbines. Under the agreement, GE will provide specially designed wind turbines, each of 2.85 MW for a total capacity of 94 MW. [Motley Fool]

¶   The Australian carbon tax may be all but dead, but a global plan for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change has found Australia could overhaul its fossil fuel dependent energy supply and cut emissions to zero by 2050 without trashing its economy. [eco-business.com]

US:

¶   Indiana Michigan Power announced plans on Tuesday to build and operate five emission-free, solar power generating facilities. If approved, the company’s Clean Energy Solar Pilot Project will have a combined capacity of about 16 MW, enough to power 2,500 homes. [Muncie Star Press]

¶   Public Service Company of New Mexico’s latest plan for providing power to half a million customers over the next two decades includes a proposal to add more coal and nuclear power, which is drawing fire from renewable energy and environmental advocates. [Santa Fe New Mexican.com]

¶   New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilitys’ Energy Resiliency Bank is beginning to frame the outlines of a new program to help critical facilities remain up and running in the wake of extreme storms, like Hurricane Sandy. [NJ Spotlight]

¶   GE Energy Financial Services and E.ON Climate and Renewables North America announced Tuesday they are teaming up to build a 211 MW wind farm about 26 miles east of Amarillo that could cost up to $422 million. [Amarillo.com]

¶   Privately held solar financing company Mosaic and Enphase Energy Inc. have formed a partnership to offer residential solar-power loan packages that include system maintenance as part of the deal, the companies said Tuesday. [AltEnergyMag]

¶   Apple recently reached another deal with Claremont, North Carolina to acquire 100 acres of land for a third solar farm. This project will bring more land into the city’s corporate limits as well as bring roughly 75 jobs. [ValueWalk]

¶   Though Kansas’ renewable energy mandates are under attack, a report released by the regulatory Kansas Corporation Commission, says all six of the state’s investor-owned utilities are on track to meet them and source 20% of their mix from renewables by 2020. [Next City]


July 8 Energy News

July 8, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Solar has won. Even if coal were free to burn, power stations couldn’t compete” As early as 2018, solar could be economically viable to power big cities. By 2040 over half of all electricity may be generated in the same place it’s used. Centralised, coal-fired power is over. [The Guardian]

¶   “Here’s why the forecast for microgrids looks this sunny” If current policy, technology and pricing trends are any indication, the conditions are clearly in place to facilitate mainstream adoption of microgrids. [GreenBiz.com]

World:

¶   Deutsche Bank AG plans to lend about $1 billion for Japan solar projects, joining Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in funding cleaner energy as the government struggles to restart nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster. [Businessweek]

¶   DCH Solargiga, a subsidiary of Chinese solar module manufacturer Solargiga, has signed an agreement to install 200 MW of solar power capacity in Ghana. The agreement was signed with the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Increased generation capacity, high wind speeds, and low electricity demand has pushed the share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources to 19.4% in the UK during the first quarter of 2014, a substantial increase from 12.4% a year earlier. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Farmers, businesses and communities across Cambridgeshire have now invested more than £57 million in renewable energy projects such as wind turbines and rooftop solar installations. They produce 223 MW, enough to  power over 146,000 households. [Cambridge News]

¶   One thing that might get lost amidst the headlines on renewable energy is the fact the coal power is increasing, too. It was the world’s fastest growing fossil fuel last year, according to British Petroleum’s annual energy review. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Indian coal-based power plants are struggling to keep up with daily demand and almost have of them only have enough stocks to last a week, the minister of state for power, coal and new and renewable energy said Monday. [MINING.com]

¶   BNRG Renewables, an Irish-based solar energy group, has raised €918,000 via crowdfunding to refinance two solar farms in Kent, England, each with a capacity of 249 kW, enough to power 82 homes. [Siliconrepublic.com]

¶   The build-out of PV projects planned under South Africa’s flagship renewable energy programme continues with the completion of the 40 MW Linde project in the Northern Cape province. The project is the second utility-scale plant built by Norway’s Scatec Solar. [PV-Tech]

US:

¶   ET Solar Energy Corp, a leading smart energy solutions provider, announced that its high efficiency PV modules will power six utility scale projects throughout the state of North Carolina, with a combined capacity of 24.5 MW. [AZoCleantech]

¶   EDF Renewable Energy announced today that the 161-MW Spinning Spur II Wind Project in Texas has reached commercial operation. The company further announced the close of structured equity financing from GE Energy Financial Services and MUFG Union Bank. [AZoCleantech]

¶   The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. a local Hawaiian cooperative utility, is surging toward 40% renewable energy in the next year, with a third of that total from customer-generated solar. Half its daytime energy will come from solar arrays by the end of 2015. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Maine’s two largest utilities have agreed to jointly develop electric transmission projects to enhance the strength and capacity of the state’s bulk power grid and improve access for new generation resources. [IT Business Net]


July 7 Energy News

July 7, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Votes Show Strong Support for Colorado Energy, Rejection of Anti-Fracking Activism” A pro-fracking author writes that the political atmosphere in Colorado supports development of natural gas and oil resources, even if it is fracked. [Energy Collective]

¶   “Give It Up, ‘Skeptics’ — America Is No Longer Debating Climate Change” This week, the Heartland Institute is holding a conference on climate change in Las Vegas, which they’ve dubbed “the biggest gathering of global warming skeptics in the world.” [VICE News]

World:

¶   The UK could save £12.1 billion a year through to 2050 by shifting the focus of its energy policy towards delivering greener buildings that consume less energy and are capable of generating their own heat and power, according to a new report. [Business Green]

¶   Australia is expected to spend some $55 billion on new electricity generation over the next decade and a half, but two thirds of this will be in the form of solar technology, and nearly half in rooftop solar PV, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast. [Echonetdaily]

¶   Over 150 companies have called on the Prime Minister to back the UK’s solar industry. A letter signed by outfits including Triodos Bank, Ecotricity, Kyocera and Good Energy was delivered as DECC closed its consultation on proposed changes to support for solar power. [reNews]

¶   Solar Reserve, one of the world’s most advanced solar power companies has shelved plans to develop electricity plants for the public market in Australia because of the Government’s apparent hostility to renewable energy. [ABC Online]

¶   IBM announced an agreement on Monday with the city of Beijing to use advanced weather forecasting and cloud computing technologies to help tackle the Chinese capital’s persistent smog. [New York Times]

¶   The UK government will share new technologies in clean and renewable energy to help India in addressing climate change in a way that its growth will not be affected, according to a British government minister. [eco-business.com]

¶   Green energy developers in Northern Ireland welcome plans to keep wind power subsidies steady until at least 2017, although solar PV installations face support cuts, reflecting changes in technology costs and a need to ensure value for money for taxpayers. [Business Green]

¶   Siemens Energy has reached the significant milestone of 10 GW of installed wind power capacity in the Americas. Siemens has installed more than 5,600 wind turbines in Canada, the USA and South America, including Peru, Chile and Brazil. [Yahoo Finance UK]

US:

¶   After examining the publicly available compliance records of more than 41,000 wells in northeastern Pennsylvania, the Cornell-led researchers reported that 40% of the oil and gas wells in parts of the Marcellus shale region will probably leak methane into the atmosphere. [Energy Collective]

¶   A 150 kW solar orchard powering Vermont’s Woodchuck Hard Cider won two honors at a national solar show. The project was a “Project of Distinction” finalist and won “Project of Distinction 2014 Fan Favorite” at the PV America event in Boston. [vtdigger.org]

¶   Dominion Resources Inc, owner of the closed Kewaunee nuclear plant, has accelerated plans to remove and encase the spent fuel to address concerns raised by members of the local community, according to a company spokesman. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]


July 6 Energy News

July 6, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “As a Solution for Climate Change – Nuclear Power is Falling Behind” A proponent of nuclear power considers why nuclear power is not expanding in a way that is even remotely like that of wind, solar, and other renewable power sources. [Energy Collective]

Science and Technology:

¶   UK researchers today announced what they believe to be a game changer in the use of hydrogen as a “green” fuel, by using ammonia as a clean and secure hydrogen-containing energy source to produce hydrogen on-demand in situ. [phys.org]

World:

¶   In Australia, the combination of low demand and strong output from the Queensland’s 1.1 GW of rooftop solar helped send the state’s electricity prices into negative territory on Wednesday – in the middle of the day, when demand is usually the highest, and prices too. [CleanTechnica]

¶   In India, coal scams during the tenure of the “previous government” adversely impacted the availability of coal forcing the power generation projects with collective capacity of 65,000 MW being shut in the country, according to Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal. [indiatvnews.com]

¶   While the cost of solar energy is declining, the number of people harnessing the sun’s energy in Alberta is on the rise. Over the past three years in Edmonton alone, the amount of solar energy generated in Edmonton has increased by about 16 times. [CBC.ca]

¶   Due to frequent power cuts in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, traffic has become un-manageable in the city, so the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board plans to install solar energy panels to keep traffic signals running during long power cuts, at a cost of $1 million. [Mizo News]

¶   Indian Railways is planning to generate 1 MW solar power at the New Delhi railway station by installing solar panels on the platform roofs. The power project is a part of the Railways’ initiative to convert some of its stations into ‘green buildings’. [The Hindu]

US:

¶   The American Council On Renewable Energy released the results of its “Business Leaders Opinion Polling.” It showed broad support for renewables in all areas , with 78% of business leaders saying renewable energy technologies are a real growth opportunity for the economy. [Electric Light & Power]

¶   Consumers Energy will build three acres of solar arrays on two Flint-area General Motors plants this summer as part of both companies’ efforts to boost renewable energy. The solar arrays will generate an estimated 400,000 kWh of power per year. [Bay City Times]

¶   A solar array in North Brookfield, Massachusetts will provide all of the power for a vocational school in Andover. The 3.6-MW solar energy system will provide 100% of the electricity for Greater Lawrence Technical High School of Andover. [Worcester Telegram]

¶   School division officials in Chesapeake, Virginia hope to have the turbine running by the end of July near the Grassfield High School athletic complex. They anticipate that it will help power the concession area at the football stadium and reduce the division’s energy bill. [The Virginian-Pilot]

¶   New England’s electricity supply is in peril. Natural gas power plants alone produced 46% of the region’s power in 2013, up from 15% in 2000. But in recent years, natural gas has come at an ever-increasing price, with little chance of improvement over 3 to 4 years. [Seacoastonline.com]


July 5 Energy News

July 5, 2014

World:

¶   Whether it is in reaction to international trade conflicts, booming local demand for solar, or the firm belief that solar PV will soon be a dominant player in the energy market, recent company announcements highlight the great promise that solar manufacturing holds. [Renewable Energy World]

¶   The Abu Dhabi Environment Agency has called on Arab Gulf states to shift their focus to solar and other renewable energy when considering power for desalination to combat rising prices of fossil fuels and growing needs for potable water. [desalination.biz]

¶   A memorandum of understanding signed this past week sets up an agreement between British Columbian First Nations and the Clean Energy Association of BC to cooperate in developing British Columbia’s renewable sector, including hydroelectric power. [Canada First Perspective]

¶   Canada-based Windiga Energy is set expand its footprint across the sub-Saharan region with what would be the largest solar PV project of its kind in the region. The company intends to commission a 20 MW solar PV project in Burkina Faso by December 2015. [CleanTechnica]

¶   In Australia, a group of 25 Coalition MPs signed a petition calling for the renewable energy target to be diluted. Interestingly, most of those who signed it didn’t want their names to become public, which is almost unheard of for political petitions. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Renova Energia SA, a Brazilian renewable energy company, received approval to start a 294.4 MW project in the northeastern state of Bahia, two years behind schedule after a delay in making grid connections. [Businessweek]

¶   The UK government will tender for backup energy generation equivalent to 80% of peak time use as part of the first capacity market auction, intended to guarantee power production in 2018/19, the energy secretary has confirmed. [Out-Law.com]

¶   Kazakhstan has started the construction of the country’s first industrial wind park in Yereimentau. The capacity of the wind farm will be equal to 45 MW, which is likely to be expanded to 300 MW in the future. [AzerNews]

US:

¶   A series of recent industry announcements is pouring cold water on the argument that tar sands development will happen at the same pace and scale with or without major infrastructure projects like Keystone XL. [Energy Collective]

¶   More than 230 earthquakes of magnitude greater than 3.0 have shaken Oklahoma already this year. Before 2008 the state averaged one such quake a year. A study published today in Science explains how wastewater from fracking processes may be to blame. [Scientific American]

¶   Over the past month Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont have all either established climate adaptation laws or created long-term plans to tackle the increasing impacts of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶   President Obama recently asked developing countries to forgo the use of coal when building their economies and concentrate on developing “renewable” energy sources. While not naming names. the president’s message was clearly aimed at China and India. [American Thinker]

¶   JEA, the utility for Jacksonville, Florida, is considering how to reduce carbon emissions. Since Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Georgia, is scheduled to go online in 2017, JEA is considering increasing its reliance on nuclear power. [Jacksonville Daily Record]

¶   Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will be allowed to continue discharging millions of gallons of heated water into the Connecticut River until the plant shuts down later this year, despite owner Entergy Nuclear relying on “flawed science,” a draft state permit stated. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]


July 4 Energy News

July 4, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Two important studies recently released on the economic costs of climate change show us the very high costs of continuing on our current carbon pollution trajectory. One is from the Risky Business Project, the other from top climate economists Simon Dietz and Nicholas Stern. [Energy Collective]

¶   The EPA has just given the thumbs-up to a genetically modified bacterium from the company Joule, which brings us one giant step closer to next generation biofuels made from sunlight and carbon dioxide. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Aston Martin recently announced a partnership with the Hanergy Global Solar Power & Applications Group that will fit solar panels on the roof of the Vantage GTE racing in the World Endurance Championship. [SmartMeters]

World:

¶   Northern Ireland has confirmed support levels for small-scale wind energy projects will remain unchanged until at least 2017. The decision follows a year-long review by Northern Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Investment. [reNews]

¶   A 50 MW solar PV project, led by India’s National Hydro Power Corporation, is to be constructed in the southern state of Kerala and floated on one of its lakes. The project is expected to cost $64-72 million and the first pilot is scheduled to begin work in October. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

¶   Canadian Solar Inc. has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., has entered into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract with Kinston Solar LP for the construction of 140 MW solar PV farm located in Ontario, Canada. [CleanTechnica]

¶   In the UK, onsite generation of power through renewable sources, including solar PV and anaerobic digestion, has increased by more than 25%, with the manufacturing sector leading the way. There have been 38 new schemes commissioned since last year. [Greenwise Business]

¶   TEPCO expected to restart two nuclear reactors at Kashiwazaki in July, though critics have said the goal was unrealistic. Four sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters the restart would be postponed. One source said the restart could be delayed by a year. [Investing.com]

US:

¶   The US DOE announced a new $4 billion loan guarantee program to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The program is geared specifically for projects that avoid, reduce or store greenhouse gases and prevent their release into the atmosphere. [FuelFix]

¶   The US DOE has included energy storage projects in a $4 billion loan guarantee programme announced yesterday. The programme is intended to help support new renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the US that help to mitigate greenhouse gases. [PV-Tech Storage]

¶   Historically, distributed generation has largely been limited to a handful of progressive states. But as solar power gains presence and storage prices go down, microgrids are expanding into new territory. [Energy Collective]

¶   The leading residential solar installer in the US, SolarCity Corp., along with privately held SunRun Inc., has filed a lawsuit against Arizona Department of Revenue as the state decided to impose property tax over leased solar panels. [NASDAQ]

¶   North Dakota regulators have given a green light to Infinity Wind Power’s 110-MW Sunflower project. The state Public Service Commission voted unanimously to issue a certificate of site compatibility for the up to 59-turbine scheme in Stark and Morton counties. [reNews]


July 3 Energy News

July 3, 2014

Disruption and Transformation:

¶   A new book by Stanford University’s Tony Seba, Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation, has a dramatic prognosis: Silicon Valley will make oil, nuclear, natural gas, coal, electric utilities and conventional cars obsolete by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency and initiator of a series of world conferences on off-grid and minigrid electrification, sees our world on the cusp of unprecedented energy transformation. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶   Despite five months of below-average temperatures and twice the normal of snowfall, when the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility ended its one-year test run, it had produced 491 kWh more than it used. [ScienceDaily]

World:

¶   The latest word from Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century is that renewable energy has continued to expand across the globe in 2013, increasing by more than eight percent and meeting almost one-fifth of the worlds final energy consumption. [Business Recorder]

¶   Alinta Energy has chosen a stand-alone concentrating solar power plant that could cost as much as $796 million as its preferred option for Port Augusta, South Australia. This is a conclusion of a feasibility study on a new a plant where it owns ageing coal-fired generators. [Courier Mail]

¶   Japan’s Kyocera Corporation has exceeded the 5-GW milestone in accumulated production of solar modules. Since the company began producing solar modules in 1975, they have now produced enough to supply individual 3.5 kW PV systems for more than 1.4 million homes. [EcoSeed]

¶   India-based wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Group has received a green light from CLP India to proceed with a 100.8-MW wind power project at Tejuva in Rajasthan. The wind project will utilize 48 units of Suzlon’s S97-2.1 MW wind turbines. [EcoSeed]

¶   The rising international price of natural gas is causing electricity providers to return to coal-fired power. Power companies are taking advantage of the export gas price, making more money by selling their gas rather than burning it. [ABC Online]

¶   Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority could give de facto approval for the restart of Kyushu Electric’s Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at its Sendai plant in southern Japan as soon as July 9, the Sankei newspaper reported without attribution. [Businessweek]

US:

¶   The United States will hold a commercial lease auction on 19 August 2014 for the up to 1.45-GW Maryland wind energy area, the county’s third such sale for offshore wind development. [reNews]

¶   The US EPA expanded the types of fuel that can be used to satisfy the federal biofuel mandate. The plan allows compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas produced using biogas [i.e., not fossil fuels] to qualify as cellulosic biofuel. [Reuters]

¶   When it comes to the urgent need to cut carbon pollution and address climate change, businesses and business-minded lawmakers in the Heartland get it. What they realize is this: Cutting carbon pollution is good for both the environment and the economy. [Huffington Post]

¶   San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy Inc. entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with KCP&L parent Great Plains Energy Inc. for the 150-MW Slate Creek Wind Project in Kansas. [Kansas City Business Journal]

¶   Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems received 740 megawatts worth of new orders in the last several days, with its machines destined to generate electricity at wind farms in Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, and North Dakota. [Denver Business Journal]

¶   Portland General Electric hit two high notes in the latest assessment by the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Portland-based utility has signed up more customers for renewable energy and sells more renewable energy than any other utility. [Portland Business Journal]

 


July 2 Energy News

July 2, 2014

World:

¶   South Africa just crossed 500 MW in installed solar capacity, entering the list of top 10 countries in terms of solar power capacity. The milestone was reached after four utility-scale solar power projects were commissioned in South Africa in May this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶   India’s plans for a major ramp-up in solar power are on hold after a proposal to impose anti-dumping duties on equipment from overseas has led developers to say proposed projects would become unprofitable. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   The UK has installed 1.47 GW of solar PVs so far in 2014, according to the latest report from solar market analyst, NPD Solarbuzz. This is more than the estimated the record 1.2 GW of solar installed in the UK throughout all of 2013. [Solar Power Portal]

¶   As Prime Minister Tony Abbott again attacked renewables for their presumed impact on consumer bills, wholesale energy prices in Queensland have slumped to unprecedented lows as rooftop solar continues to boom in that state. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Two Norwegian state-controlled energy companies are in line to receive £1.6 billion in subsidies from UK consumers, after deciding to invest £1.5 billion in building a wind farm off the coast of Norfolk. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶   Bloomberg New Energy Finance foresee that by 2030 the world’s power mix will have transformed to one with over half from zero-emission energy sources, saying, “Economics – rather than policy – will increasingly drive the uptake of renewable technologies.” [Business Spectator]

¶   New independent renewable projects in Scotland have seen a 50% increase in a year, and now produce enough energy to power one million homes, according to a new report. More than £66 million was invested in independent schemes. [Scotsman]

¶   President Hassan Rouhani’s government has quintupled its spending on solar power projects in the last year. While being good for the environment, the panels also offer rural Iran steady power amid uncertainty over the country’s contested nuclear program. [Greenfield Daily Reporter]

¶   The German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern generates 120% of its electricity from renewable sources, according to a new publication. Reportedly, there are over 1600 wind turbines in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which is also a top tourist destination. [CleanTechnica]

¶   EU member states are not obliged to pay renewable energy subsidies to foreign suppliers, the European Court of Justice has decided in a case involving Sweden. EU member states that limit supports to within their borders do not need to overhaul their renewable energy policy. [E&T magazine]

US:

¶   Entergy Corp., which owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, has asked for permission to build a second concrete pad on which to store spent-fuel casks after the plant closes at the end of the year. The plant has one pad, and the second could be completed by 2017. [Businessweek]

¶   After studying production data from 65,000 wells from 31 different unconventional shale rock formations in 2012, geologist David Hughes predicted big trouble ahead for North America’s unconventional hydrocarbon revolution. [Resilience]

¶   Quad County Corn Processors beat DuPont and Poet to produce the state’s first-ever gallon of commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol. The Iowa company plans to quickly scale-up so that it’s producing about 2 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year. [DesMoinesRegister.com]

¶   The Department of Energy issued a $150 million loan guarantee to support construction of the Cape Wind offshore wind energy project. Cape Wind is to have a capacity of more than 360 MW of clean energy off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. [Utility Products]


July 1 Energy News

July 1, 2014

World:

¶   ACIL Allen, the modellers hired for the Australian government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET), suggest that the uptake of rooftop solar will be more without the RET because customers would pay higher electricity bills. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The next decade and a half will see renewable energy raise its share of European electricity generation capacity from 40% in 2012, to 60% in 2030, while the share of fossil-fuel sources such as coal and gas falls from 48% to 27%, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Nanowerk]

¶   A new report from Bloomberg News Energy Finance has revealed that the electricity generation capacity in the Americas is due for a big boost in the near future. The Americas will add 943 GW of capacity by 2030 – with 522 GW added to the US. [PV-Tech]

¶   In Taiwan, in an effort to conserve energy and reduce environmental impact, an Energy Bureau initiative allowing businesses and households to voluntarily purchase “green power” sourced form renewable sources will commence today. [China Post]

¶   The United States is helping Chile build a major solar power plant in the Atacama Desert, US President Barack Obama said in his meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. The $230 million in backing will come from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. [Jacaranda FM]

¶   Canadian Solar Inc. has announced signing a sales contract to supply 12.6 MW of PV modules to Kayseri Organized Industry Zone and a consortium of companies in the zone, for a solar power project located in Kayseri, Turkey. [Your Renewable News]

¶   Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss psychiatrist-turned-adventurer who circumnavigated the globe in a hot air balloon, now wants to become the first to do it in a solar-powered aircraft. He believes Solar Impulse 2 can promote renewables over nuclear and fossil fuels. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶   New York’s cities and towns can block hydraulic fracturing within their borders, the state’s highest court ruled, dealing a blow to an industry awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision on whether to lift a six-year-old statewide moratorium. [Bloomberg]

¶   Georgia currently gets most of its electricity from coal, followed closely by nuclear and natural gas. The EPA’s plan calls for cutting dependence on coal, and many in the state believe this should be done by boosting the share of power from nuclear and gas. [Businessweek]

¶   Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to promote the purchase of solar-produced electricity in Illinois. The law requires that a special existing fund be used to purchase solar power and emphasizes the development of distributed solar generation. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   Several research studies have shown that renewable energy could wind up saving US consumers tens of billions of dollars. Two of them found that $26.7 billion a year could be saved in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The city of Burlington, Vermont now owns a full half of the second-largest power plant in the state. The city just completed payments on a 30-year bond for its stake in the 50 megawatt McNeil generating station, which burns wood chips to generate electricity. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶   As a result of ongoing drought, each of the Hoover Dam’s 17 generating units was derated in June. The total nameplate capacity of 2,074 megawatts has been reduced to a current capacity of 1,592 MW and is projected to decline later this year. [Environment & Energy Publishing]


June 30 Energy News

June 30, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶    The International Energy Agency’s Renewable Energy Technology Deployment issued a new report looking at how policymakers and regulators may react to the surge in residential prosumers, a trend currently pushed by solar PV and, possibly soon, battery storage. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶   The UK government has finalised plans to procure 53.3 GW of electricity generating capacity via its new capacity market auction mechanism. The 53.3 GW figure equates to some 80% of peak electricity use in the UK today. [reNews] (We will surely hear more on this.)

¶   EU officials look at Belgium as an example for cooperative energy projects, as the 28-country bloc looks to de-carbonize and gain more energy independence. The European Commission estimates that the EU spent €1 billion per day last year on energy imports. [EurActiv]

¶   At one kilometre high, the taller of two new towers to be built in the city of Wuhan in China will be the world’s tallest, but both are also environmentally friendly. They will clean the water and air around them while generating sustainable power for neighbouring buildings. [ScienceAlert]

¶   The Ontario Environment Ministry is giving the green light to a $380-million wind farm that will add 40 turbines in a 16-kilometre corridor along Lake Huron. Most of the turbines will be about a kilometre inland from the beaches, but that is too close for some residents. [St. Thomas Times-Journal]

¶   A £6 million large-scale solar farm in Northern Ireland has been given the green light. Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister announced planning approval for the project in Crumlin, with an installed capacity of 6.5 MW, enough for more than 1,600 homes. [Energy Live News]

¶   The UK Government has given consent to go ahead with the East Anglia One offshore wind farm. It is scheduled to install up to 240 wind turbines and will generate enough electricity to power approximately 820,000 homes. [SmartMeters]

¶   The government of India’s northern state of Haryana is implementing an energy conservation policy making solar power generation mandatory for certain buildings and areas. The move could create 200 MW of power and avoid significant CO2 emissions. [SmartMeters]

¶   UK plans to drive investment in a new fleet of nuclear power stations took a step forward today after Toshiba and GDF Suez inked a deal to build three new reactors on the West Cumbria coast by 2024. [Business Green]

US:

¶   The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has rejected a nearly two-fold increase in fixed charges for CenterPoint Energy Resource’s residential customers, and ordered a mechanism – decoupling – for the gas utility that’s aimed at encouraging more energy savings. [Energy Collective]

¶   The new 600-kW Storms Hog Farm biogas plant in North Carolina has passed its proof-of-concept stage, leaving the field wide open to build even bigger hog manure biogas plants in the state. With a hog population of 10 million, that could add up to quite a bit of biogas. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The Consumer Electronics Association issued a new report on the amount of electricity used by US consumer electronics and the good news is that it’s finally begun to come down. But the total is still enormous, equal to the output of over 50 large polluting power plants. [Energy Collective]

¶   EDF Renewable Energy has awarded two contracts to Vestas to support the 150 MW Slate Creek Wind Project in Kansas with 75 wind turbines of 2 MW each, and the 300 MW Roosevelt Wind Project in New Mexico with an additional 150, also of 2 MW. [Energy Business Review]

¶   Without the economic relief, five of New Jersey’s county landfill projects are in jeopardy of closing this year, according to a lobbyist representing the facilities. They include projects in Warren, Sussex, Burlington, Atlantic, and Salem counties. [NJ Spotlight]

¶   In Vermont, the Washington Electric Co-op is proposing changes to their net metering program. They propose to add a fixed customer charge and a new grid service fee based on the amount of power the net metering member generates. [vtdigger.org]


June 29 Energy News

June 29, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “How Opposite Energy Policies Turned The Fukushima Disaster Into A Loss For Japan And A Win For Germany” Japan has nine times Germany’s renewable energy resources but makes about nine times less of its electricity from new renewables than Germany does. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶   Microgrids are attractive to universities, hospitals and military installations aiming to protect their critical loads. They are also attractive to communities looking to survive the next storm, a dynamic spurring development of a new, potentially controversial grid model. [Scientific American]

¶   Interest in microgrids has soared as America’s aging infrastructure has fallen behind. Unlike diesel generators for emergency power, modern microgrids frequently integrate batteries with multiple sources of power, including solar panels, wind turbines and fuel cells. [Leader-Telegram]

World:

¶   In the past, renewable power needed incentives. In Germany, however, the energy market is on the cusp of evolving to the next step: An era in which the sun and the wind replace fossil fuels through the sheer, unstoppable force of the market. [Engadget]

¶   Germany is headed for its biggest electricity glut since 2011 as new coal-fired plants start and generation of wind and solar energy increases, weighing on power prices that have already dropped for three years. [SteelGuru]

¶   The Indian government is working towards forming a nuclear insurance pool to cover the nuclear facilities, involving state-owned General Insurance Company and New India Insurance. [Indian Express]

US:

¶   Given the options to adapt or to die, a number of US utilities seem to have chosen a third way – Fight – as captured in a map from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. A total of 19 states have legislative or regulatory assaults on net metering or distributed solar underway. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Risky Business, an organization founded by Tom Steyer, Hank Paulson, and Michael Bloomberg, three business giants, released a report detailing the extraordinary risks that climate change poses to the nation’s economy and to the future business climate in the US. [Energy Collective]

¶    With rapidly growing utility-scale solar capacity, the California Independent System Operator has regularly recorded new hourly output records going back to 2010 when it first began publishing the daily data. [Energy Collective]

¶   Rocky Mountain Power struck a deal with Boston-based First Wind agreeing to purchase 320 MW of solar power over twenty years from four solar facilities in Beaver and Iron counties in Utah. Solar was chosen over other alternatives on the basis of price. [CleanTechnica]

¶   At 8:48 p.m. on March 26, wind generation on the electric grid covering most of the state of Texas reached a new instantaneous peak output of 10,296 MW. At that moment, wind supplied almost 29% of total electricity load, according to the grid’s operator. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Deepwater Wind is beginning construction of a demonstration project to power Block Island. They have a lease on 256 square miles of federal lands 30 miles off the coast of Montauk, where they plan to start with 35 6-megawatt turbines to tie in to Long Island’s electric grid. [East End Beacon]


June 28 Energy News

June 28, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Eric Pickles’ war on wind farms could blow UK renewable energy targets” The UK Government’s self-declared war on onshore wind farms will make it very difficult for the UK to meet its EU renewable energy targets, especially as it cuts support for solar PV. [The Ecologist]

¶   “Mo. experience epitomizes quandary for nuclear projects” For people who might want nuclear development in Missouri, there is an obstacle: how to finance it in an era of cheap gas, increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy penetration, and no demand growth. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

World:

¶   An important new World Bank report concludes that just a few key policies aimed at cutting carbon pollution would boost the global economy, with an estimated GDP growth of between $1.8 trillion and $2.6 trillion. [Energy Collective]

¶   First Solar has received vital board approvals for $290 million of financing to support construction of the 141 MW Luz del Norte solar power plant in Chile. The plant is said to be the largest of its kind in Latin America. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶   German lawmakers adopted a law on Friday to reduce renewable energy subsidies as the government seeks to keep its green “energy transformation” on track, curb rising prices and fight nagging criticism. [Yahoo News]

¶   Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based think tank, proposed a model based on mini-grids to eradicate energy poverty in India and claimed that their model would ensure at least 12 hours of electricity to every household per day especially in the rural areas. [Economic Times]

¶   EDF Energies Nouvelles has ordered 24 Vestas V90-3.0MW turbines and eight V80-2.0MW turbines with an option for an additional two V90’s and one V80. The total potential capacity of the French utility’s project, the location and nature of which yet unknown, could be 96 MW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶   An Aberdeen-based renewable energy firm has submitted a planning application to create Scotland’s first solar energy park in Angus. The solar park proposal would operate with a capacity of 9.5 MW, which would provide enough electricity to power 2,500 homes. [Scottish Daily Record]

US:

¶   Curtailments of wind generation on the Texas electric grid have steadily dropped since 2011 as more than 3,500 miles of transmission lines have been built, largely as a result of the state’s Competitive Renewable Energy Zones program. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said he will sign legislation Saturday to free up $30 million for the purchase of solar energy for the stat’s electricity customers, a move expected to help the state catch up on its lagging renewable energy goals. [Chicago Tribune]

¶   The revelation this week that New England state administrators met in closed-door sessions with energy business leaders to craft a plan for billions of dollars of natural gas pipeline development to be passed onto utility ratepayers is raising questions among area lawmakers. [The Recorder]

¶   During the year’s first four months, renewables provided 14.05% of all electricity nationwide. Wind power grew past the 5% threshold, to 5.15% of US electricity production, and solar increased 108.9% from last year. But carbon emissions are growing too. [Justmeans]

¶   The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit Friday challenging Kansas’ latest move to allow construction of a $2.8 billion coal-fired power plant, partly because the state wouldn’t regulate the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions. [Kansas City Star]

¶   The official ribbon cutting ceremony has taken place at the Storms Hog Power facility at the Storms Hog Farm near Bladenboro, North Carolina. The 600 kW facility is North Carolina’s largest swine waste-to-energy system operating. [MRO]

¶   This past week, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator revealed modeling details for a future electricity supply with more renewable energy, less coal, and 23% less CO2 with only a 1% increase in generation costs over 25 years. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]


June 27 Energy News

June 27, 2014

World:

¶   In Britain, nearly a fifth of all electricity was generated by windfarms or other green technologies in the first three months of the year, according to new statistics released by the Department of Energy and Climate change. In the same period last year, it was about 12%. [edie.net]

¶   New Government figures published on June 26th, 2014 reveal that compared to this time last year solar PV generation is up 77%, according to the British Solar Trade Association. Government now plans to end support for PV plants above 5 MW. [solarserver.com]

¶   Utilities in Queensland are looking to limit and even stop households exporting excess electricity back into the grid from their rooftop solar panels, in a move that other Australian network operators are expected to follow. [RenewEconomy]

¶   China’s renewable energy capacity increased from 27.8 GW in 2001 to 183 GW in 2013, and alternative sources are expected to account for more than 20% of the country’s total electricity generation by 2020, says research and consulting firm GlobalData. [Business Spectator]

¶   Dublin Airport has struck a deal with the ESB which will lead to energy consumption at the airport being cut by almost a third. The Dublin Airport Authority aims to reduce its energy consumption by 33% by 2020. [Irish Independent]

¶   Britain’s energy ministry awarded too much in subsidies to eight renewable energy projects in April – £16.6 billion in total – meaning that consumers will pay over the odds for the electricity the projects produce, a parliamentary watchdog said. [Reuters]

¶   Germany’s Bundestag is expected to pass reforms to its laws supporting renewable energy, ending a week of dispute with the EU over the government’s plan to have German consumers pay a surcharge to finance renewable energy while heavy industry is exempt. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶   Proposals to end or reduce nuclear power generation were submitted to general shareholders’ meetings at nine Japanese power companies on Thursday, but all were rejected as the utilities plan to restart idled reactors in step with government policy. [The Japan News]

¶   Alstom is to supply PGE Energia Odnawialna 30 ECO 110 3-MW turbines for the 90-MW Lotnisko wind farm in Kopaniewo in Poland. The €80 million deal is the first wind power project by Alstom in the country and should be commissioned at the end of 2015.  [reNews]

US:

¶   Michigan Public Service Commission staff released the first draft of a report from the commission’s Solar Working Group offering scenarios in which the state’s two largest investor-owned utilities could expand their solar programs without a spike in customers’ monthly bills. [Greentech Media]

¶   The Fish and Wildlife Service expects to grant a permit to the Shiloh IV Wind Project near Rio Vista, California within 30 days that would allow for the deaths of five golden or bald eagles over a five-year period without penalty. [CNN]

¶   The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and General Motors are partnering on a joint effort to speed up the reduction of automotive fuel cell stack costs through fuel cell material and manufacturing R&D. [Daily Fusion]

¶   Leading waste technology management firm, Covanta Holding Corporation (CVA – Snapshot Report) has entered into a 5-year contract with the City of Boston to provide sustainable waste disposal services. The agreement will start from Jul 1, 2014. [Zacks.com]


June 26 Energy News

June 26, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Explainer: did Clive Palmer just save the planet?” Australian kingmaker Clive Palmer has saved the furniture on climate policy, in a bizarre press conference with Al Gore. Spin and media fiction aside, here’s an explanation of what Palmer’s announcement means. [Crikey]

Science and Technology:

¶   New organic, non-toxic, water-based batteries that last five times longer than their lithium counterparts have been developed. Created by researchers at the University of Southern California, the batteries would also be much cheaper than lithium batteries. [The Conversation]

World:

¶   Royal Dutch Shell has blamed air strikes by the government in Kiev against its own citizens in southern Ukraine as the reason it decided to declare a halt to its shale oil projects in the region. But the company was already looking for a way out of fracking in the area. [Energy Collective]

¶   Windsor, Ontario will pocket millions simply by leasing airport lands, that would otherwise remain untouched, to global technology behemoth Samsung for construction of a  400-acre solar-panel facility with a capacity of 50 MW, built on unused airport land. [Windsor Star]

¶   German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday he will introduce a market for spare power capacity which will help keep loss-making coal- and gas-fired power stations stay open on standby for when wind and solar plants are not producing. [Business Spectator]

¶   Chatham-Kent is now home to the largest wind farm in all of Canada. The farm utilizes 124 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines, which are estimated to produce renewable energy for up to 100,000 local homes. [CTV News]

¶   German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would push back decisively against the European Commission if it raised further objections to Germany’s system of green power subsidies. [Reuters]

¶   Furious shareholders of TEPCO, the company that runs Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power station, joined campaigners today to demand the permanent closure of the utility’s atomic plants as it held its annual meeting. [Economic Times]

US:

¶   Senators Corker (R-TN) and Murphy (D-CT) are backing a 12-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase to shore up the nation’s highway trust fund, and getting praised for it to boot, as federal outlays supporting roads are outpacing exceed revenues. [Energy Collective]

¶   Rhode Island currently has the capacity to deliver 21.65 MW of solar power. Newly passed legislation, which Gov. Lincoln Chafee is expected to sign, would expand this capacity to roughly 200 MW. [The Providence Journal]

¶   Fuel producers are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to California’s landmark low carbon fuel standard, the first of a series of cases seeking to roll back state renewable energy laws around the country. [Reuters]

¶   Colorado energy company SunShare has sold out the nation’s largest privately developed and subscribed Community Solar Garden. Having over 10,000 solar panels, it can power over 500 average Colorado homes. Construction will begin in the fall. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   8minutenergy Renewables, LLC has reached an agreement on a 27-year contract with the City of Palo Alto Utilities that would sell 25 MW of power generated from the PV developer’s Hayworth Solar Farm in Kern County, California to the city of Palo Alto. [PV-Tech]

¶   An 80 MW Solar Farm in North Carolina has received final approvals from Duke Energy. Innovative Solar 37, LLC is the solar farm project located in the middle of the state that will supply enough electricity to the grid to power approximately 20,000 average size homes. [PR Web]

¶   The use of executive powers to regulate greenhouse gas emissions has been reaffirmed by the US Supreme Court in a ruling issued on Monday. This suggests President Obama’s climate policy has solid legal foundations. [Carbon Brief]


June 25 Energy News

June 25, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Where The US Got Its Oil in 2013″ As events in Iraq continue to unfold, many people have asked about just how much oil the US imports from Iraq. The author has tabulated a list of the top 10 sources of crude oil imports for the US for 2013. [Energy Trends Insider]

Science and Technology:

¶   Several developments in the power sector, including growth in smart meters and variable renewable generation, have created an environment conducive to virtual power plants, which Navigant Research expects to be worth $5.3 billion in 2023. [Virtual-Strategy Magazine]

World:

¶   Clive Palmer, member of Parliament from Melbourne, will demand that households benefit from a move to repeal the carbon tax, while the government’s plans to scrap the renewable energy target and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation have been thrown into doubt. [Brisbane Times]

¶   Alten LLC announced it had successfully bid on the capacity allocation tender organized by Russian energy regulator Sovet Rynka to build a 51 MW wind park scheduled to launch in 2015. It will be Russia’s first large-scale wind plant. [Prague Post]

¶   Total wind energy supplied to the states of NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria reached a record 2598 MW at 10:30 pm according to National Electricity Market data analysed by Pitt & Sherry. That supply met 14.9% of total demand. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   The number of large-scale solar parks in Wales is set to double, with rural west Wales increasingly being targeted. Eighteen schemes greater than 5 MW are already in operation, with 34 projects in planning or being built, according to website Solarbuzz. [BBC News]

¶   State governments in Australia provided $17.6 billion in subsidies to the minerals and fossil fuel industries over a six-year period, according to a report by The Australia Institute. This figure does not include significant federal government support and subsidies. [Business Green]

¶   Vega Biofuels has entered into an agreement with Austrian based, ECEM Salzburg Energy and Environment Consulting GmbH to sell 50,000 tons of Bio-Coal each year for the next five years. The five year deal will generate approximately $57 million in revenue to Vega. [Baystreet.ca]

¶   The Czech Republic is the world’s fifth biggest power exporter, but fears in Prague are that the rise of renewable energy in the coming decades will cause a fall in prices. They suggest output reductions from coal and postponement of new nuclear power stations. [Radio Prague]

US:

¶   The state of New Hampshire lags behind many New England states in energy-efficiency measures, investment in grid modernization, zero-emission vehicles and in other areas, but a proposed 10-year state energy plan hopes to address many of these issues. [Seacoastonline.com]

¶   Some leaders in the GOP and the industry have backed away from the initial relentless criticism of the EPA’s proposed carbon rule. Michigan and New Jersey provide two among other examples. [Great Lakes Echo]

¶   The vast majority of Vermonters want to use less fossil fuel for their energy needs, but the cost to reduce one’s carbon footprint is a perceived challenge, according to a survey the Energy Action Network released last week. [vtdigger.org]

¶   The owner of a planned trash-burning power plant in Delaware faces millions of dollars in fines and has been ordered to halt construction because company officials didn’t buy enough emissions credits to offset air pollution the facility is expected to emit. [Baltimore Sun]

¶   General Motors is increasing its renewable energy use with 3 acres of new solar arrays at two Michigan facilities. The two will feature 150-kilowatt ground-mount solar arrays expected to generate a combined 400,000 kWh annually. [Greenfield Daily Reporter]

¶   The Northeast Biodiesel Diesel plant in Greenfield, Massachusetts has gotten a major boost toward becoming a reality with a $540,000 grant from the state Department of Energy Resources. The $3.5 million plant has been a work in progress for 10 years. [GazetteNET]

¶   A Spending Bill under debate in Congress would cut over $100 million from renewable energy, grant extra funds for dumping nuclear waste and fossil fuel research, exempt ‘mountain top removal’ coal from regulation, and limit EPA enforcing clean water laws. [The Ecologist]


June 24 Energy News

June 24, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   One in five people around the world, approximately 1.3 billion people, lack access to electricity. The Sierra Club is released a new report — “Clean Energy Services For All (CES4All)” — showing that off-grid clean energy is the right tool for the energy access job. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶   East Anglia One Offshore Wind, a 50-50 joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall, has received consent from the UK Department for Energy & Climate Change. With 1,200 MW capacity, the project will become one of the world’s largest wind sites. [Power Online]

¶   The Australian federal government’s case to scrap or weaken the Renewable Energy Target has been dealt a blow, with modelling it commissioned for the review showing consumers will be better off if the target is kept. [The Canberra Times]

¶   Strong hydro generation and the opening of the largest wind farm in the country lifted renewable energy’s share of Australia’s power generation to 14.76 per cent in the 2013 calendar year, up from 13.14 per cent in 2012. [Business Spectator]

¶   Huge solar farms are set to transform former UK coal mine sites into green energy powerhouses providing low carbon electricity for around 10,000 homes. Anesco is set to install up to 30 MW of solar energy capacity at three sites in Nottinghamshire. [Business Green]

¶   A study from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis says Concentrating Solar Power could supply sizable amounts of electric demand. Mediterranean region systems could provide 70% – 80% of demand at no extra cost compared to gas-fired power plants. [Counsel & Heal]

US:

¶   American University, George Washington University and GWU Hospital, all in Washington DC, will buy 52 MW of solar PV power — enough electricity to light up 8,200 homes — from Duke Energy Renewables at a fixed rate over the next two decades. [Washington Post]

¶   Vermont’s clean energy industry is projected to grow 12% during the next 12 months. The Department of Public Service released its “2014 Clean Energy Industry Report,” forecasting approximately 1,800 new jobs in the industry at wages far higher than average. [Rutland Herald]

¶   The Connecticut House gave final passage to a bill to enable the town of Canton to refurbish two dams, one first built for a grist mill in the late 1700s, the other in 1837 to power machinery for making axes. The “renewed” should power more than 1,500 local homes. [CT Post]

¶   Massachusetts’ new food waste ban, which was a decade in the making, puts the commonwealth among leaders in the United States in addressing an indulgence that is unique to our modern existence: throwing away large quantities of food. [Boston Globe]

¶   Renewables have supplied 47.83% of new electrical generation in the U.S. since the start of 2012. The share of clean energy is rising, with non-fossil fuel generation accounting for 54% of new capacity from January to the end of May, according to FERC. [pv magazine]

¶   First Wind celebrated the end of construction of the Warren Solar project and announced that commercial operations have begun. The 14 MW AC Worcester County-based project joins First Wind’s 3 MW AC Millbury, Massachusetts solar power project in commercial operations. [PennEnergy]

¶   At long last, America’s first offshore wind project, Cape Wind, has secured its permits, leases and is finalizing financing. Once turbines are erected, miles off-shore, it will begin producing most of the electricity for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. [The Hill]


June 23 Energy News

June 23, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Top Ten Reasons Why Business Should Love a Carbon Price” Economists have argued the case for carbon pricing for over two decades. The Chief Climate Change Advisor for Royal Dutch Shell gives ten reasons why carbon pricing makes business sense. [Energy Collective]

¶   “Nuclear power – small isn’t beautiful, safe, or cheap” Small Modular Reactors are supposed to be small and prefab – constructed from parts made in a central location and slapped together onsite like a cheap prefab home. But this is merely old technology in new clothes. [The Ecologist]

Science and Technology:

¶   The Japan Meteorological Agency reported Monday that March-May was the hottest in more than 120 years of record-keeping. It was also the hottest May on record. This is all the more important because we are still waiting for the start of El Niño. [Energy Collective]

¶   New semiconductor materials could mean 50% less energy loss in switched-mode power supplies for PCs, flat-screen televisions, servers and telecommunications systems and could make solar inverters even more compact and cost-efficient. [presseagentur.com]

World:

¶   Germany’s windiest area, Schleswig-Holstein, will probably achieve “100% renewable electricity” sometime this year. Schleswig-Holstein has a goal to generate 300% of its electricity consumption with renewables eventually. [CleanTechnica]

¶   In the Austrian town of Amstetten, a pilot project by the local utility is reclaiming heat energy from the sewer system. This it uses to heat 45,000 square feet of buildings, or cool them in summer, allowing it to dispense entirely with gas and reduce its carbon footprint. [Naharnet]

¶   The administration of the Indian city of Chandigarh has a plan to equip most of the city’s government buildings with PVs by the end of this year. The buildings include 35 schools and all of the 11 police stations. [Times of India]

¶   The pot of money that ministers have set aside to subsidise UK renewable power is likely to run out much more quickly than previously thought, according to research, placing green energy projects in jeopardy. [Financial Times]

¶   One of India’s leading information technology and consultancy companies, Infosys, is planning to implement of the most significant sustainability and clean energy measures in the company’s history, a 50-MW solar park. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The UK’s High Court has overturned a decision by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to block a 24-MW solar farm in Suffolk, calling his original decision “perverse”. It also refused the Secretary of State leave to appeal. [Solar Power Portal]

US:

¶   A recent study from Regional Economic Models Inc is the newest released in a series of studies finding that taxing carbon can not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also add jobs to the economy. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Biogenic Reagents, a producer of biocarbon products from renewable biomass, has entered into an agreement with a US subsidiary of West Fraser Timber, the largest lumber producer in North America, to develop renewable biocarbon products, including biochar. [BioEnergy News]

¶   Swedish marine energy technology company Minesto has signed an agreement with Florida Atlantic University to examine the feasibility of harnessing the power of Gulf Stream ocean currents. [reNews]

¶   As more people integrate solar power infrastructure with their homes and businesses, Arizona utility operators and regulators are discussing how best to meet the paradigm shift in terms of grid management. [Modern Times Magazine]


June 22 Energy News

June 22, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Might the Bakken Boom Get Derailed?” Bakken crude oil production has many of the classic characteristics of an economic bubble. It looks likely that, as with every bubble before, it will end. Whether it ends catastrophically or just badly depends on how regulators act. [Resilience]

¶   “Utilities unsure of future as environmental regs loom” Coal is under fire, gas and wind are blowing up, and consumers may yet wrestle control of power generation from their utilities. There’s a lot on the mind of your average electric company executive these days. [STLtoday.com]

Science and Technology:

¶   A new book by Vermont architect William McClay shows that net-zero-energy buildings (those that make as much — or more — energy than they consume) not only offer long-term advantages for the planet, but can also save their owners money from the start. [New York Times]

¶   According to a report from the Geothermal Energy Association, geothermal energy is as affordable an energy source as any other and could be quite effective as a primary energy source, especially in parts of the world where geothermal activity is particularly high. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

World:

¶   Polling for the Climate Institute shows 72% of Australians want to keep or expand the renewable energy target, which requires that 20% of energy is sourced from renewables by 2020, as the Abbott government considers abolishing the incentive. [The Guardian]

¶   The board of directors of French power-to-rail group Alstom on Saturday unanimously approved US conglomerate General Electric’s €12.35 billion ($16.8 billion) bid to acquire its energy business. [Business Recorder]

¶   Indian capital city’s pride, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, has earned yet another achievement by commissioning its first rooftop solar power project at one of its stations. The project has an installed capacity of 500 kW and is expected to produce power next month. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Corporate India is going “green” with its new campuses and buildings across the country. And this is primarily because it wants to cut down on power and water consumption, to reduce its operational and overhead costs. [The New Indian Express]

US:

¶   The DOE has announced the selection of three pioneering offshore wind demonstrations to receive up to $47 million each over the next four years to deploy innovative, grid-connected systems in federal and state waters by 2017. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶   Texas has become a major testing ground for storage technology. For example, Oncor, the state’s largest transmission company, is installing five of the batteries this summer in South Dallas neighborhoods, providing backup power to schools, traffic lights and a fire station. [New York Times]

¶   Companies are increasingly offering ‘green bonds’ in order to raise money for sustainable projects—and to appeal to socially conscious investors. Increasingly, endowments and other institutions are establishing socially conscious criteria for their investments. [Daily Beast]

¶   As its nuclear plants increasingly look like an albatross rather than a boon, Exelon is at a crossroads. The so-called nuclear renaissance has not come, and the company would have to play catch-up other new investments. Or it could split off the nuclear generating business. [Crain's Chicago Business]


June 21 Energy News

June 21, 2014

World:

¶   UK planning applications for small and medium-scale wind turbines have grown by 60% in six months according to data from leading agricultural turbine specialist Earthmill. The company has installed more than 150 turbines on farms and land across the UK. [Farming UK]

¶   Close to 7,000 battery systems for storing energy from solar PVs were installed in Germany in 2013. The renewable energies expert at Germany Trade & Invest, expects to see more, with the majority of PV sales probably in conjunction with batteries within two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶   A majority of Britons believe the government is not doing enough to fight climate change, according to a Frost & Sullivan report, but fewer than one in ten of those questioned in the study knew that heating was the single biggest cause of carbon dioxide pollution in the UK. [CITY A.M.]

US:

¶   Barclays’ rationale for the downgrade they gave the entire US utility industry is their expectation that for more than 20% of US electric consumers, solar combined with electric storage will be at least as cheap as power from utilities within 4 years. [Energy Collective]

¶   Climate change may drive a shift to more wind and solar power generation to conserve water, a US DOE report said this week. Thermoelectric power including gas, coal and nuclear, is responsible for 40% of US water use. [Responding to Climate Change]

¶   Portland, Oregon’s regional transit agency has received and will soon be testing an all-electric 40-foot bus for two weeks throughout the region. The zero-emissions, environmentally friendly bus was manufactured by Build Your Dreams Motors, Inc. [Portland Tribune]

¶   Green Power EMC, the renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia electric membership corporations, has reached an agreement to purchase the full output of a new 20-MW solar project planned for construction in southeast Georgia. [Macon Telegraph]

¶   Chicago Bridge & Iron received an engineering, procurement and construction contract from a subsidiary of Indianapolis Power & Light Company for a 671-MW combined-cycle gas turbine power station near Martinsville, Indiana. The contract is worth $500 million. [NASDAQ]

¶   The Omaha Public Power District  board approved a 20-year generation plan to retire three coal-burning units at the North Omaha Station in 2016. Emissions controls will be installed on the remaining two units, and in 2023 they will be refueled with natural gas. [Kearney Hub]

¶   The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has announced it has taken an important step toward issuing a research lease for a facility to test utility-scale wave energy devices in federal waters off Oregon. [The Maritime Executive]

¶   Denver International Airport’s fourth solar power array is now online, bringing the airport’s total solar energy capacity to 10 MW. The Solar IV array is capable of generating up to 2 MW, or 3.1 million kWh annually. [PennEnergy]

¶   The Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies has awarded a $707,550 contract to U.S. Hybrid to build a fuel cell plug-in hydrogen fuel and battery-powered bus for the Big Island. The 25-passenger bus should be ready by 2015. [Pacific Business News]


June 20 Energy News

June 20, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “The EPA carbon plan: Coal loses, but nuclear doesn’t win” Assuming that states generally adhere to the prime directive of public utility resource acquisition—choosing the lowest-cost approach—the proposed rule will not alter the dismal prospects of nuclear power. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist]

Science and Technology:

¶    US researchers studying an environmental life-cycle assessment on specific 2-MW wind turbines conclude that in terms of cumulative energy payback, a wind turbine with a working life of 20 years will offer a net benefit within eight months of being brought online. [Science Daily]

World:

¶   In a rather lengthy decision, the Federal Court of Canada agreed with Greenpeace and other environmental groups that portions of the Joint Review Panel report for the Darlington New Nuclear project were inadequate. There are implications for other industries. [Energy Collective]

¶   Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Acciona Windpower has signed a 153 MW supply deal with Brazilian renewable power producer Atlantic Energias Renováveis. Acciona will deliver 51 of its AW 125/3000 machines to a wind power complex in the state of Río Grande do Sul. [Recharge]

¶   The CEO of the UK government-backed Green Investment Bank says he could raise up to £60 billion to fund low carbon energy infrastructure, from windfarms to wave power, if the restrictions on his ability to borrow in the capital markets were lifted. [The Guardian]

¶   Tata Power Solar, India’s largest specialized solar EPC player, has successfully commissioned the 50 MW solar photovoltaic project for NTPC, as part of their mandate to expand their renewable energy portfolio to 1,000 MW by 2017. [Your Renewable News]

¶   The Renewables 2014 Global Status Report says that 22.1% of the world’s electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2013. That percentage is expected to rise as countries across the globe pour money and resources into alternative, clean energy. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   Japan installed 7,185 MW of PV by the end of the country’s 2013 financial year, which ended on 31 March, according to the latest figures from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. [PV-Tech]

US:

¶    After seeking and then getting an international job promoting nuclear power while serving on the NRC, Commissioner William D. Magwood is being urged to resign immediately by 34 leading national and local groups. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶   First Wind announced agreements with Rocky Mountain Power for clean energy from the largest solar developments in Utah. Four four separate agreements, Rocky Mountain Power will purchase the output of four 80-MW solar farms for 20 years. [Your Renewable News]

¶   The nation’s largest companies are leaving Washington gridlock on climate change behind and rapidly embracing renewable energy sourcing and greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts, according to a new report from Calvert Investments. [Insurance News Net]

¶   The American Bird Conservancy filed suit against the Interior Department of the Interior, charging multiple violations of federal law in connection with its regulation that allows wind energy companies and others to obtain 30-year permits to kill eagles without prosecution. [Surfbirds News]

¶   Responding to customer wishes and pending federal air quality regulations that could cost millions, the Omaha Public Power District announced Thursday it will phase out its aging North Omaha coal plant and reduce emissions at its Nebraska City coal plant. [Lincoln Journal Star]

¶   A four-month public comment period on the federal government’s plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric power plants began this week, allowing anyone to submit feedback through Oct. 16. [Climate Central]


June 19 Energy News

June 19, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   James Smith, the former chair of Shell UK, is no climate denier. He says, “Climate change is a problem that absolutely must be tackled, and it is a very urgent problem and the longer we leave it the more and more urgent it becomes.” [Triple Pundit]

¶   Though electric cars may cost more up front, their low-maintenance nature and low-cost fuel make them a natural fit for small businesses that require a lot of daily, local driving. A new study estimates that over a seven-year lifespan, the average electric car saves owners $16,000 in fuel and maintenance costs. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   Despite being quite a grey country, with average solar irradiation levels worse than even the US Northwest and Alaska, Germany is the world’s solar power leader. In the past couple of weeks, it broke another three records, at one point getting 50.6% of demand from solar PVs. [Treehugger]

¶   This year’s International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference in Manila seems to have achieved balance and a politics-free sense of hope for the industry, investors, new business, and the government agencies that inform the people and support the public good. [CleanTechnica]

¶   French energy and environment minister Ségolène Royal presented a bill that would cut nuclear’s share of France’s energy mix to 50% by 2025 from 75% now, while the share of renewables should increase to 40% from around 15% by 2030. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   The nuclear option is now a certainty as a means to alleviate the South Africa’s energy shortage, according to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Speaking at a business breakfast, she said: “Nuclear will be used. This certainty has been lacking until now.” [BDlive]

US:

¶   Sunetric has deployed a 198.8 kW PV system with automated curtailment and smart-grid controls on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The system will not feed electricity back into the utility grid, making it easier for the utility to manage the grid. [AZoCleantech]

¶   Four former heads of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who served under Republican presidents urged lawmakers Wednesday to stop bickering over whether climate change is real and start finding solutions. [Tico Times]

¶   The new administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration has dedicated the nation’s largest federally owned wind farm near Amarillo, Texas with a mission to ensure the safe, secure, and cost-effective operation of facilities in Oak Ridge. [Oak Ridge Today]

¶   Colorado state regulators have approved reopening Xcel Energy Inc.’s Solar*Rewards program that handles rebates and incentive payments for rooftop and commercial-sized solar power systems. [Denver Business Journal]

¶   Massachusetts Deval Patrick and U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced plans for a new proposed offshore wind power area of more than 742,000 acres, or 1,160 square miles, which would make it about the size of Rhode Island. [Treehugger]

¶   SolarCity, the rooftop solar panel business backed by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, has announced plans to expand its production to 1,000 MW a year in one of the world’s largest solar manufacturing plants, located in New York. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]


June 18 Energy News

June 18, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Energy companies generate the lion’s share of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, about 40% of the total. But they will also suffer as global warming picks up pace, as generators – from nuclear reactors to coal-fired power plants – feel the brunt of the weather changes. [The Guardian]

¶    Scientists from Korea University have shown that human urine is a rich source of carbon catalysts, prompting a rethink of how we handle our biological waste. Material called “porous urine carbon” displayed catalytic strength comparable to the widely-used Platinum catalyst. [Asian Scientist Magazine]

¶   University of Utah electrical engineers have designed a thin layer made of a transparent plastic or glass that sorts and concentrates sunlight to boost the overall efficiency of solar cells by up to 50%. [Energy Harvesting Journal]

World:

¶   A poll commissioned by Greenpeace International, found that 85% of those interviewed in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia supported a binding target to reduce energy wastage by 2030, while 86% supported a binding renewable energy goal. [EurActiv]

¶   ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall have won approval from the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change to develop a 1.2 GW wind farm off the coast of Suffolk. The project will eventually feature about 325 turbines. [Clean Technology Business Review]

¶   Chinese President Xi Jinping says that his government is drawing up new criteria for reforming energy consumption and production and will move faster to modernize its outdated energy regulations. [OilPrice.com]

¶    France is set to unveil a much-delayed energy transition bill on Wednesday that will avoid making tough choices on its dominant nuclear energy sector, instead focusing on measures to cut red tape currently stifling renewables and boost energy savings. [Reuters]

¶   At 38 GW, more solar PV capacity was installed globally in 2013 than wind and roughly as much as hydroelectric power, according to a new report by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century. [solarserver.com]

US:

¶   Four in 10 new oil and gas wells near national forests and fragile watersheds or otherwise identified as higher pollution risks escape federal inspection, unchecked by an agency struggling to keep pace with America’s drilling boom, according to the Associated Press. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Mosaic, the first company to crowdsource investments to finance solar projects, has launched Mosaic Places, a technology platform allowing the public to raise funds to put solar on local community centers, schools, libraries, places of worship, and businesses. [Your Renewable News]

¶   Nine Republican governors signed a letter addressed to President Obama urging him to dispose of the recent EPA rules regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions, including the rule that would require a reduction in carbon emissions of 30% by the year 2030. [Watchdog Wire]

¶   Thanks to new investments in natural gas and utility-scale solar energy, El Paso Electric, a Texas utility with nearly 400,000 customers, announced on Monday that its electricity mix will be free from coal by 2016. [ThinkProgress]


June 17 Energy News

June 17, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Lawrence Livermore’s National Ignition Facility had its first fusion reaction that got more energy from the fuel than it absorbed. The reaction, which was at 50 million° C and a pressure of 150 billion atmospheres, produced twice as much power as was used to trigger it. [Scientific American]

¶   Tesla has managed to bring down battery prices per kWh by half in just four years with plans to half the cost again when its gigafactory comes online in 2020. As electric cars become more affordable, demand should produce even more economies of scale. [ValueWalk]

World:

¶   The Cabinet of Japan on Tuesday approved Japan’s Energy White Paper 2013, which defines nuclear power as an “important base-load power source” and calls for a return to nuclear power generation, local media reported. [Chinadaily USA]

¶   Russia’s OAO Gazprom has halted shipments of natural gas to Ukraine after the collapse of negotiations over gas prices. The shutdown is the first since January 2009. The fact that this is June will naturally mute the impact of the supply cut-off. [Oil & Gas Journal]

¶   A Climate Council report finds Australia faces significant economic and environmental risks due to its ageing, inefficient and unprepared electricity sector. It calls for a faster transition to renewables and provides cost comparisons for sources of electricity generation. [The Daily Telegraph]

¶   The growing number of community-led projects that generate their own power through renewable energy is the focus of Australia’s first Community Energy Congress, being held in Canberra this week. [ABC Local]

¶   At the International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition in Manila, large international agencies and financial organizations showing support for off-grid renewable systems that can offer viable, strikingly swift change to remote communities. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Solar project developer Solarcentury has moved into the market for community-owned solar farms, inking a deal for the first solar co-operative in the UK county of Hampshire. The new solar farm will have 2.4 MW capacity, wild flowers, bee hives, and sheep. [Business Green]

¶   Windfarm owners say the head of Tony Abbott’s renewable energy review recently told them they were foolish to “build a whole business model on government largesse”, raising fears he will recommend a severe winding back of the renewable energy target. [The Guardian]

¶   The new leader of Norway’s Labour Party has called for the country to become the world’s first zero-emission nation in an unexpectedly radical speech that signalled a sharp change in the party’s climate policy. [The Local.no]

US:

¶   Cherryland Electric Cooperative in northern Michigan has a relatively modest 224-panel solar array. But it could serve as the catalyst to set renewable energy groups, utilities and the state on a path to find out how community power can be expanded in Michigan. [Great Lakes Echo]

¶   El Paso Electric Monday announced that it’s now getting power from the recently completed Macho Springs solar plant near Deming, N.M., which is, at 50 MW, the largest solar plant in New Mexico. [Businessweek]

¶   GE Power & Water’s Distributed Power business has announced the launch of its new, 10-MW class Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engine for the 60-Hz North American segment, offering one of the highest electrical efficiency commercially available today. [Windpower Engineering]

¶   US utility Northwestern Energy has issued a request for proposals for up to 45 MW of community-owned renewable energy generation in Montana. The regulated investor-owned utility is required to purchase energy from qualified community projects. [reNews]

¶   The political action committee of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce has helped recruit candidates to run against GOP members who voted against repealing a state law that requires utilities to generate a specific amount of energy from renewable sources. [Lawrence Journal-World]

 


June 16 Energy News

June 16, 2014

Energy Week Videos:

¶   The regular hour edition of the weekly Energy Week series includes commentary from internationally renowned physicist Steve Reucroft of CERN, who joins hosts George Harvey and Tom Finnell as they sort through the week’s energy-related news. [BCTV]

¶   Renowned physicist Steve Reucroft of CERN joins the Energy Week team for in-depth discussion on the future of energy, including the untapped potential of nuclear waste currently lying dormant in sites across the globe, and much more. [BCTV]

Science and Technology:

¶   A new “suction bucket” foundation for anchoring offshore wind turbines to the seabed has the potential to reduce set-up costs of offshore wind energy by up to £1 billion ($1.7 billion) over the next decade. [Energy Matters]

World:

¶   The latest round of UN climate talks concluded in Bonn yesterday on an upbeat note, with a pledge that elements of a draft treaty aimed at curbing global warming would be circulated to the parties as early as July 15th. [Irish Times]

¶   The Government of Kazakhstan will subsidize 50% of expenses to remote households that install renewable power generators. Rates per kWh were also set for renewable power depending on source: 19¢ for solar, 12¢ for wind, 10¢ for small hydro, and 17¢ for biogas. [Tengrinews]

¶   Experts are now calling Germany the world’s first modern renewable energy economy. Germany already obtains 29% of its electricity from renewable sources, meaning photovoltaic, hydro and wind power, and power produced by burning wood or other biomass. [Inter Press Service]

¶   Toshiba Corporation and Toshiba Solutions Corporation today announced that they have started to demonstrate a home energy monitoring system and community management system in the Lyon redevelopment area in Lyon, France. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   Plans are underway to form a pair of state-owned joint ventures that will oversee the construction of renewable energy projects, contributing to India’s energy security and reducing reliance on conventional sources of fuel such as coal. [Livemint]

¶   BT signed long-term Power Purchase Agreements worth £440 million with three wind farms in Scotland, Wales and Lancashire, adding more than 100 MW of renewable energy to help power its UK operations. [Converge Network Digest]

¶   A massive Chinese state-owned company has been given $25 million by the governments of Australia and Victoria to develop more Latrobe Valley brown coal. Shanghai Electric is promising to build a $119 million demonstration plant to process coal into briquettes. [The Age]

¶   The government of the Indian state of Haryana said it will implement an energy conservation action plan under which solar power generation will be made mandatory in different categories of buildings or areas with a suitable enforcement mechanism. [Daily News & Analysis]

US:

¶   Sonoma Clean Power, Sonoma County, California’s new electricity supplier, signed an agreement today with solar project developer Recurrent Energy, to construct 30 MW of solar power in California, and to supply the energy to SCP customers. [Sonoma County Gazette]

¶   After introduction of an innovative, community-focused, solar project in Rutland, Vermont, NRG Energy is developing a similar project in collaboration with the Center for Energy Sustainability at San Diego State University’s Imperial Valley Campus. [Triple Pundit]

¶   The company operating Texas’ only radioactive waste dump site is asking state regulators to allow disposal of depleted uranium and triple the capacity of a burial site that accepts nuclear waste from dozens of states. [LubbockOnline.com]


June 15 Energy News

June 15, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Sea Change: Counting the ways Maine gains from renewable power” Maine has a well-earned reputation for Yankee thrift and self-reliance – except when it comes to energy. Maine residents pay $4000 on fossil fuels each year. [Press Herald]

World:

¶   The Philippine Department of Energy will be helping Metro Manila schools reduce their dependence on the Manila Electric Co. through the installation of solar power systems on various campuses. [Inquirer.net]

¶   Technological developments making it possible to derive energy from wind at lower speeds are especially relevant for the UAE, which typically lacks the gales that drive the largest of existing wind farms in Europe and North America. This is causing a change in thinking. [The National]

¶   US company Consilio Group, specialising in electricity generation from solar power, is planning to establish several projects in Egypt with capital of up to $100 million. Egypt has been suffering in recent years from power outages caused by shortages of gas and oil. [Daily News Egypt]

¶   As France rushes to make expensive upgrades to its aging nuclear plants in view of the Fukushima Disaster, a report from Greenpeace shows that maintaining the nation’s dependence on atomic energy will cost more than generating power with solar and wind. [Mintpress News]

¶   Alstom will be supplying a wind project in Brazil with 19 of the French conglomerate’s wind turbines. Under the contract signed with CPFL Renovaveis, Alstom will deliver, erect, and commission 19 ECO 122 wind turbines. [EcoSeed]

US:

¶   A new report conducted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shows that the state has made progress with greenhouse gas emissions. It was 5.4% below 1990 levels in the most recent test period, 2010, which is better than hoped. [The Daily Voice]

¶   As the use of solar energy has grown exponentially over the past decade, Massachusetts has become a national leader in the field. Massachusetts currently has 496 MW of solar energy capacity, up from less than 1 MW 10 years ago. [Wicked Local Wilmington]

¶   In meeting federal requirements to cut power plant emissions linked to global warming, Wisconsin’s task was made much tougher by the closing last year of the Kewaunee nuclear power plant. Utilities in the state have made up the generating loss with coal. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

¶  Air Force Academy experts say Smart Grids could shave nearly 20% off power companies’ peak load as they gain popularity. The academy’s Smart Grid Energy Research Group is working on security for smart grids. [U.S. Air Force Academy]


June 14 Energy News

June 14, 2014

Not Energy, but Noteworthy:

¶   National associations representing food and snack manufacturers are suing the state of Vermont over its law passed last month that will require foods produced with genetically modified ingredients to be labeled as such beginning July 2016. [Food Safety News]

Opinion:

¶   “US Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Deployment Fades Further into an Uncertain Future” Nuclear reactor proponents confront a US economic landscape that has shifted against nuclear power in the near term, while the longer-term outlook remains uncertain at best. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶   “Old Reactors v. New Renewables: The First Nuclear War of the 21st Century” Utilities, who had loudly announced the arrival of a “nuclear renaissance”, are desperate to “stay relevant to the game going forward” because they cannot compete with renewables or gas. [InvestorIdeas.com]

Science and Technology:

¶   If solar energy deployment doesn’t increase 12 times over by the year 2030, the world is headed towards a “climate catastrophe,” according to a recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   The world is on the brink of a serious surge in batteries. Batteries of the near future will power homes and hospitals and even provide relief for the grid, with an industry that may be worth $200 billion in 2020. [Bloomberg]

¶   The election in Ontario saw the governing Liberal Party score a surprise victory, giving a boost to windpower. During the campaign, Conservative leader Tim Hudak advanced an energy strategy heavily focused on nuclear power, while stopping support for renewables. [Windpower Monthly]

¶   Kyocera Corporation, along with several other organizations, today announced that they have reached a basic agreement to investigate the possibility of operating a 430-MW solar power project on the island of Ukujima (Sasebo City, Nagasaki Pref., Japan). [PennEnergy]

US:

¶   Elon Musk has made yet another highly interesting and somewhat unpredictable move/announcement (in a long line of such moves) — Tesla Motors will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, uses the company’s technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶   New York legislation would let people without their own roofs for solar panels invest in clean energy projects, which is more attractive than ever thanks to recent drops in the price of solar and wind power. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) dashed the hopes of environmentalists, leading manufacturers and renewable-energy businesses Friday and signed a bill shelving requirements for utilities to ramp up the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. [Washington Post]

¶   Independent energy provider Tenaska closed commercial financing today for Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, a 150-MW photovoltaic solar electric generating plant near El Centro, California. [Imperial Valley News]

¶   Cirque Energy Inc. announced the signing of a development agreement for a project to install a 2.5 MW biomass gasification power plant to be known as the Midland Biomass Energy Station in Midland, Texas. [Biomass Magazine]

¶   In 2006, Wisconsin passed a law calling for the state to get 10% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015. Now, two years ahead of schedule, the state announced it has already met its goal. [ThinkProgress]

¶   The Department of Public Utilities has issued two orders that will allow Massachusetts to become the first state in the country that requires electric distribution companies to take affirmative steps to modernize the electric grid. [Berkshire Eagle]


June 13 Energy News

June 13, 2014

World:

¶   The Government of Gibraltar has signed its first power purchase agreement for the provision of renewable energy. The agreement, which is with Eco Wave Power, is for the provision of an initial 0.5 MW, with a possibility of expanding to 5 MW. [MercoPress]

¶   Clarke Energy has inaugurated the largest landfill gas-powered cogeneration plant in France. The 17.3-MW facility features 10 Jenbacher gas engines, from GE Distributed Power, to generate renewable electricity and heat for residents and businesses. [Business Wire]

¶   The National Grid, which operates Britain’s electricity system, this week said it wants businesses to switch off between 4pm and 8pm on winter weekdays over the next four years to help avoid blackouts. [Western Daily Press]

¶   Australia posted its biggest annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 24 years of records in 2013 as the carbon tax helped drive a large drop in pollution from the electricity sector. Emissions are reported to be down 0.8 per cent on the previous year. [Kiama Independent]

¶   Regen Powertech Ltd, one of India’s leading wind turbine manufacturing companies, is all ready to launch wind-solar hybrid systems, the company’s Managing Director, Madhusudan Khemka, has said. [The Hindu]

¶   Uruguay’s government said on Thursday that 84% of its energy last year came from renewable sources. The small South American country has been pushing for an energy diversification policy focused on developing wind and solar energy since 2008. [HispanicBusiness.com]

¶   China Wanxiang Holding announced the planned formation of a joint venture between its wholly-owned subsidiary, Puxing Energy, and NEC Corporation to pursue grid energy storage opportunities in the Chinese market. [Business Wire]

¶   The wind energy industry in the country would see an addition of around 3,000 MW of capacity during the year compared to 2,100 Mw last year, according to the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association. [Business Standard India]

¶   Germany’s government has decided to stop issuing credit guarantees for exports of equipment used for nuclear power generation because the risks to public safety are too great, according to the Economy Ministry. [Reuters]

US:

¶   EPA chief Gina McCarthy said on Thursday that newly proposed rules to slash carbon emissions from U.S. power plants will cut electricity bills after 2030 by forcing power plants to become more efficient. [MarineLink]

¶   The US DOE is spending $500,000 on a project to boost electric grid reliability in Hawaii. Hawaiian Electric will use the money to deploy technology capable of measuring instantaneous voltage, current and frequency at specific locations on the grid. [Associated Press]

¶   Nuclear power plants across the United States are building or expanding storage facilities to hold their spent fuel, radioactive waste that by now was supposed to have been on its way to a national dump. [Associated Press]


June 12 Energy News

June 12, 2014

Please Note:

The internet has been running badly today, with most of the sites I tried to visit unavailable. I am sure there were important news items missed because of this. 

World:

¶   Australia’s electricity demand has fallen sharply again, with the market operator conceding that power consumption will fall 3.1% below even its most recent downgraded forecasts – made just in November. [RenewEconomy]

¶   South Australia will in the next week reinforce its position as the leading mainland state on renewable energy as the completion of a major new wind farm brings its wind and solar energy production to around 40% of its total generation. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Bord na Móna signed a €50m deal to supply renewable electricity to Irish energy supplier Vayu for resale to its business customers. As part the deal, electricity produced by a new Bord na Móna landfill plant in Co Kildare, will be supplied to Vayu for 15 years. [Irish Examiner]

¶   Mainstream Renewable Power is on track to commission the 46 MW Oldman 2 project in Alberta, Canada in late summer despite a difficult winter construction season, as the Irish developer has erected the first of 20 Siemens 2.3MW 101 turbines. [reNews]

¶   In the early stages of the Fukushima Disaster, Japanese government officials had very little information. They assumed it was because TEPCO was not getting information from the plant, but this was untrue. TEPCO was not giving giving it to the government. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶   Researchers from the University of Vermont released a report Tuesday detailing the impacts of climate change on Vermont. The report aims to translate the scientific certainty of climate change into a grim forecast that is expected to worsen over the next century. [vtdigger.org]

¶   Google Inc. is looking to make a deeper push into the billion-dollar U.S. energy market by developing tools to deliver power more efficiently, with hope that a “smart grid” would be an improvement, as solar and wind power become more prevalent. [MarketWatch]

¶   US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday heralded America’s oil and gas boom but urged private investors and government leaders to aim, ultimately, to shift their investments away from carbon-intensive fuels. [Investing.com]


June 11 Energy News

June 11, 2014

World:

¶   The first industrial-scale municipal solid waste to biofuel facility opened in Edmonton, Alberta on June 4, 2014. Enerkem’s waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facility will convert 100,000 tonnes of sorted municipal waste per year into biofuels and chemicals. [CleanTechnica]

¶   A £400 million plan to construct a tidal power facility in Northern Ireland be unveiled today by a Cork-based renewable energy firm. The 100 MW scheme could generate enough energy to power one in 10 homes in Northern Ireland. [Belfast Telegraph]

¶   The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is having solar PV arrays installed at Solihull Hospital and Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham. Each hospital will have a 250 kW roof-mounted solar array as a means of cutting costs and reducing carbon footprints. [Solar Power Portal]

¶   Barely two weeks in office and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is already facing a power struggle as scorching summer heat has triggered black outs and even riots. Temperatures have soared to as high as 118° F in parts of the capital. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   Japan’s parliament on Wednesday enacted legislation that will allow the country to liberalize the household electricity market that has been dominated by regional monopolies over the past 60 years. [GlobalPost]

¶   India’s transport minister has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to scrap a plan by the nation’s previous administration to impose duties on solar imports from China, the U.S., Malaysia and Taiwan, the Hindu Business Line reported. [Bloomberg]

¶   Despite an overall slump in installations in 2013, the global cumulative wind power capacity will more than double from 319.6 GW at the end of 2013 to 678.5 GW by 2020, says research and consulting firm GlobalData. [Your Renewable News]

¶   The Scottish government says the country has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25% since 1990 and is on pace to hit 42% by 2020. They aim to generate the equivalent of 100% of annual electricity consumption through renewable energy resources by 2020. [UPI.com]

¶   Bloomberg predicts that the productivity of Germany’s solar PV plants will reach record levels in the summer of 2014, driven by good weather. The news outlet also says that PV output will offset higher electricity demand from air conditioning. [solarserver.com]

US:

¶   Governor John Kasich is planning to sign the legislation by the Saturday deadline that will freeze Ohio’s renewable and energy efficiency laws for at least two years. Consumer groups, environmental groups, and the Ohio Manufactures’ Association fought to keep the rules. [The Plain Dealer]

¶   According to Gina McCarthy, administrator of the EPA, numerous toxic chemicals found in Hispanic communities, largely from power plants, account for the difference in the number of Hispanic children who die from asthma compared to non-Hispanic whites. [VOXXI]

¶   When the Environmental Protection Agency issued its aggressive plan last week to cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030, Vermont was the only state with no energy recommendations. Instead, the state was praised for its progressive energy portfolio. [Rutland Herald]

¶   The Energy Information Administration estimated coal plant operators will shut down 60 gigawatts of capacity by 2020, with 90% of that occurring by 2016. Coal accounts for a little less than 40% of the U.S. electricity supply, or about 310 GW. [Electric Co-op Today]


June 10 Energy News

June 10, 2014

World:

¶   Chinese demand for natural gas is expected to almost double in the next five years as the country aims to use cleaner fuels to clear its cities’ smog-filled skies, according to the International Energy Agency. [Financial Times]

¶   Energia has announced that they have commenced operations at its newest wind farm in County Tipperary, supplying energy to homes and businesses across Ireland. The €19 million Hollyford wind farm has the capacity to produce 9 MW of renewable electricity. [Siliconrepublic.com]

¶   Iberdrola has pledged to invest $5 billion in Mexico’s energy sector through 2018 under an agreement with the Federal Electricity Commission. Iberdrola already has more than 5.2 GW in operating nameplate capacity – wind farms and combined cycle natural gas plants. [Recharge]

¶    Expanding its international and renewable energy footprints, GE Energy Financial Services invested in a 32-MW solar PV project in Japan. GE Energy Financial Services’ plan is to invest over $1 billion annually in renewable energy projects worldwide. [AltEnergyMag]

¶   A decision by parties to an obscure convention has huge implications for Europe’s ageing nuclear reactors. Licence extensions for nuclear reactors must follow Environmental Impact Assments comparing them with alternatives – including wind, solar and other renewables. [The Ecologist]

US:

¶   At the Edison Electric Institute’s annual convention, Warren Buffett was reminded by an aide that Berkshire Hathaway had spent on $15 billion on wind and solar power. He responded: “There’s another $15 billion ready to go, as far as I’m concerned.” [Businessweek]

¶   A Minnesota administrative law judge has recommended the state approve Geronimo Wind’s 200 MW Odell wind project. Geronimo proposes to build up to 133 turbines in southwestern Minnesota. The developer is considering several turbines. [reNews]

¶   Duke Energy says too little natural gas can reach the Ashville, North Carolina region to allow Duke Energy to switch entirely from burning coal at its Lake Julian plant. They also say the region’s demand for electricity rules out closing the plant. [Asheville Citizen-Times]

¶   University of California President Janet Napolitano formed an advisory group to help the UC system cut pollution. Napolitano hopes the University of California will reach carbon neutrality by 2025, by cutting some of its emissions and paying to offset the rest. [San Francisco Business Times]

¶   Concentrating Solar Power projects would add additional value of 5 or 6 cents per kWh to utility-scale solar energy in California where 33% renewables will be mandated in six years, a new report by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory says. [EIN News]

¶   A bill expected to spark investment by South Carolina homeowners and businesses in solar energy has been passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor. It allows non-utilities to lease solar systems, updates net metering, and establishes other measures. [GSA Business]


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